Friends Provident offloads pension assets in £350m deal

Insurance firm Friends Provident has offloaded part of its pension scheme liabilities in a £350m deal with Norwich Union.

The buyout is the latest in a number of deals that have seen firms selling off part of their final salary pension schemes to specialist insurers.

Last week, actuary Lane Clark and Peacock (LCP) predicted that at least 10 firms in the FTSE 100 were planning to offload their pension schemes this year.

About a third of the scheme’s assets are being transferred to Norwich Union as part of the deal. Pensioners will still remain part of the Friends Provident scheme, and its trustees will still be fully responsible for ensuring they are paid.

Charlie Finch, partner at LCP, said: “It’s interesting in this case that Friends Provident is itself an insurance company, but that it has done a deal with essentially one of its competitors. This highlights the specialist nature of pension buyouts.”

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