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ESG principles a shared focus for Aviva’s £160m buy-in with the Church Workers Pension Fund

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Aviva Life & Pensions UK Ltd today announces it has completed a £160m bulk purchase annuity buy-in transaction with the trustees of the Church Workers Pension Fund.  Aviva will insure the defined benefit pensioner liabilities for 2,400 members, removing the investment and longevity risk of these members from the Scheme. Members will see no change in the amount of their benefits or the way in which they are paid as a result of the transaction. The Scheme Trustee was independently advised throughout the process by LCP.

In selecting an insurer, the Trustee placed a strong emphasis on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations and robust investment processes. Aviva demonstrated thorough integration of sustainability criteria when deciding where to invest capital. Another key theme is active engagement - something both parties see as a key element of stewardship. Aviva has an extensive track record of using our position to encourage the companies we invest in to take a longer-term view and consider the impact of their business decisions.

Jamie Cole, Head of Bulk Purchase Annuity Origination at Aviva plc, said: “We’re delighted that the Trustee of the Church Workers Pension Fund selected Aviva to secure member benefits. This has been a very smooth process run by a well prepared and well-advised scheme.  The Trustees put ESG and responsible investing at the heart of their decision making and so we are proud to be working with the Church of England Pensions Board, given that this is a key pillar of Aviva’s purpose.”

The Trustees put ESG and responsible investing at the heart of their decision making and so we are proud to be working with the Church of England Pensions Board, given that this is a key pillar of Aviva’s purpose.

Clive Mather, Chair of the Church of England Pensions Board, said: “The ‘buy-in’ is good news for employers, members and the Pensions Board in reducing risk for all of us, and helping to secure the pensions of those who have given so much to the Church. This transaction is made possible by excellent returns on investments in recent years, and the continued support of the employers. I am delighted we have secured this agreement with Aviva, a long-standing pension provider and responsible investor.”

Zelda Bentham, Group Head of Sustainability at Aviva plc, said, “The Trustees of the Church Workers Pension Fund are recognised leaders in the considerations of ESG investment factors. So naturally we are extremely proud to be working with them to deliver long-term sustainable investment outcomes for our customers.

David Salter, Partner at Lane Clark & Peacock LLP added: “We are delighted to have been able to help the Pension Board in securing this buy-in with Aviva. Insuring all pensioner members within the Defined Benefit Section represents an important step in providing additional security to members of the Fund. This transaction shows the increased focus from pension schemes on ESG issues as part of buy-in transactions which we welcome as an important development.”

Ends

Media Enquiries:

Daniel Skipp

Media Relations Manager | Savings & Retirement

Notes to editors:

  • We are the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement business and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in Singapore, China and India.
  • We help our 18.5 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right. 
  • We have been taking care of people for 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2021, we paid £30.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
  • Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030.  Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
  • Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at https://www.aviva.com/about-us/our-people/
  • At 31 December 2021, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group are £401 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus is £13.1 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
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