The Aegon UK Staff Retirement and Death Benefit Scheme has secured a £144m buy-in with Phoenix, covering around a quarter of pensioner liabilities.
The deal brings Phoenix's total bulk annuity volumes for 2019 to £1.9bn, and is the insurer's third announced deal this year. Its other two transactions were a £1.1bn buy-in with its own pension scheme in March, and a £460m buy-in with the Marks and Spencer Pension Scheme in April.
Trustee chairman Maurice Brunet said: "This is a key milestone for the scheme, being the first buy-in as part of our long-term de-risking strategy. It helps to improve long-term security for all of our members by reducing the scheme's exposure to future investment and longevity risks."
Phoenix head of bulk purchase annuities Justin Grainger said the deal had been completed "quickly and smoothly despite challenging market conditions".
He added: "This transaction takes Phoenix's year-to-date bulk annuity volumes to approaching £2bn and further demonstrates our commitment to this market."
The scheme was advised by Burness Paull and Hymans Robertson, whose partner Michael Abramson said: "Hymans Robertson is very pleased to have helped the trustees achieve a great outcome for the scheme and its members. Phoenix's collaborative approach led to a smooth and quick implementation despite this being a record year for bulk annuity transactions."
The announcement comes alongside a separate deal between the Carter and Parker Limited Staff Retirement Benefits Plan (1975) and Canada Life, also announced today, while Legal & General also revealed it had insured around £7.5bn of defined benefit (DB) scheme liabilities by 31 October.
This year, the market has so far insured around £37.5bn of DB scheme liabilities, with some predicting the final 2019 figures could hit £40bn.
Just Group has completed a £74m pensioner buy-in with the UK pension scheme of a US-listed engineering business.
The Smiths Industries Pension Scheme has secured a £146m buy-in with Canada Life in its fourth bulk annuity and its sponsor’s tenth overall.
The Prudential Staff Pension Scheme has entered into a £3.7bn longevity swap with Pacific Life Re, insuring the longevity risk of over 20,000 pensioners.
The Baker Hughes (UK) Pension Plan has secured approximately £100m of liabilities through a buy-in with Just Group.
There have now been a total of 30 longevity swaps over £1bn publicly announced. The full list, provided by Willis Towers Watson and through PP research, is as follows...