Members of the Svitzer Marine pension scheme worked in the shipping industry and anecdotal evidence suggested a prevalence of medical and lifestyle conditions that would not be reflected in conventional buy-in pricing. The first £36m transaction was won by Just Retirement, the second £23m buy-in was won by Partnership.

By running a medical underwriting tender process, the trustees were able to achieve better value as the insurers could more accurately assess the mortality profile of the membership. Detailed health and lifestyle information was gathered using telephone interviews by trained professionals, allowing an accurate assessment of the underlying longevity of the membership. The process resulted in significant savings compared to a conventional buy-in.

“The advent of medical underwriting allowed us to unlock more competitive pricing and achieve a buy-in many years ahead of our original plans.” – David Noakes, pensions manager, Svitzer UK.

“Having successfully completed a previous buy-in for a sister scheme, and seen first-hand the value medical underwriting can provide, the trustees and company were delighted to complete this £23 million transaction that generated significant value for the scheme while reducing risk.” Clive Wellsteed, partner at LCP.

“Recent analysis by Partnership suggests that 93% of medically underwritten bulk annuity processes over 2013 and 2014 ended with successful insurer selection, an enviable achievement for the bulk annuity market. The evidence is that when trustees and companies have chosen the medically underwritten route the resulting pricing has met or beaten expectations.” – Costas Yiasoumi, Partnership’s director of defined benefit solutions.

Our clients say:

After the assessment is completed, I can put a certificate on every client’s file. So, everyone’s getting that consistent scoring and I also get a copy of the questions and answers so I can go in and find out how I may deliver a slightly different service going forward.

Paul Russell, chartered financial planner