Pensions buyout relief for West Ferry Printers

National newspaper printing firm West Ferry Printers has secured a buyout of its pension scheme.

Insurer Norwich Union has taken on the liabilities of paying pensions to members of the West Ferry scheme.

John Pannett, chairman of the scheme’s trustees, said: “This is a tremendous result for the trustees and for the pension scheme members.

“The trustees and scheme members now have the security that pensions currently in payment are provided by a household-name, Financial Services Authority regulated, insurance company.”

Law firm Lane Clark & Peacock advised the trustees on the deal. Partner David Lane said: “This latest transaction follows hot on the heels of the recent £1bn pensioner buy-in by the Cable & Wireless scheme, and brings the total deals written this year to nearly £7bn.”

Last month, experts at HSBC Actuaries and Consultants predicted a huge jump in the number of UK pension schemes being passed over to insurers, from 80,000 currently to more than 180,000 by the end of the year.

West Ferry is currently under the joint ownership of daily national newspapers the Telegraph and the Express, although the Telegraph has recently switched to a printing contract with News International, and is expected to pull out of the joint venture next year.

That move reportedly left a pensions deficit of about £66m.




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