Aviva completes £187m buy-out of Sea Containers pension scheme

Aviva today announced the successful completion of a £187million bulk annuity buy-out deal which will see it insure the defined benefit pension liabilities of the Sea Containers 1983 Pension Scheme. The deal will enable the Trustees to secure benefits in excess of Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation levels for the Scheme’s circa 750 members.

Stephen Purves, Deal Management Lead at Aviva, said: “We’re delighted that the Trustees have chosen Aviva to insure the benefits for the members of the Scheme and we believe that this deal further demonstrates our capabilities and ambitions in the bulk annuity market.

“We’re continuing to see very strong demand for bulk annuity deals as more and more trustees and sponsoring employers look to de-risk their defined benefit pension schemes.”

Link ATL Pension Trustees Limited (formerly Capita ATL Pension Trustees Limited) and part of Link Asset Services is the professional trustee on the board, supporting the Scheme’s long-standing Trustees. The Trustees were advised throughout the process by Mercer and Gowling WLG.

Jane Fryer, (Link ATL Pension Trustees Limited) Chair of Trustees said: “We are delighted to have been able to secure benefits for members above PPF compensation levels and to be in a position to wind up the Scheme, some years since the Scheme (together with the Sea Containers 1990 Pension Scheme) received the first Financial Support Direction from the Pensions Regulator. We feel the Scheme has gained from recent competitive rates in the market.”

Neil Rogers, bulk annuity specialist and lead adviser to the Trustees, added: “Mercer was pleased to help the Trustees achieve their important objectives of maximising value to members and obtaining highly flexible implementation terms. The buy-out will provide members with the long-term security they deserve.”


Media Enquiries:
Aviva Press Office | Katy Hurren | 07800 692548 | katy.hurren@aviva.com | @Katy_Hurren

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About Sea Containers
• Following his early years career in the US Navy followed by employment with US Lines and CTI, a US based marine container lessor, James B Sherwood founded Sea Containers Inc in 1965. Listed in New York registered in Bermuda but with operations headquarters in London Sea Containers became one of the first international marine container lessors outside the US.
• Thereafter Sea Containers successfully grew its container assets adding many container variants as well as container manufacturing, container ships and quay side cranes.
• Over successive years from 1976 accompanied by company restructuring Sea Containers gradually expanded from its primary focus on its marine container asset leasing business into a group encompassing passenger transportation and provision of high-end leisure facilities. Its principle subsidiaries were GE SeaCo SRL, Orient Express Hotels Inc and Sea Containers Ferries Ltd.
• In October 2006 Sea Containers Ltd and two of its subsidiaries including Sea Containers Services Ltd, the supporting employer to the Sea Containers 1983 Pension Scheme, filed for bankruptcy protection in the USA since it was unable to meet the deadline on a bond repayment.