National law firm Freeths has counselled the Trustees of the Shoe Zone Pension Scheme on a £34m buy-in with Rothesay.
Sponsored by leading UK footwear retailer Shoe Zone Retail Limited, the deal secures the benefits for all remaining 500 uninsured members of the Scheme. This includes defined benefit liabilities for 367 pensioners and dependants, and a further 166 deferred members.
The buy-in, which required no contribution from the sponsoring employer, followed two previous de-risking transactions, with Alico in 2008 and MetLife in 2011.
Rothesay now secures all of the scheme’s liabilities, having acquired MetLife’s UK bulk annuity business in 2014.
The Freeths legal team was led by pensions director Nigel Jones, supported by pensions director Maxwell Ballad.
Nigel Jones said: “We are very pleased to have supported the trustee and scheme in its de-risking journey.
“The project was achieved in an ambitious timeframe and also ‘rolled up’ ancillary matters arising from earlier de-risking transactions to standardise terms and provide a clearer path to buyout.”