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Press Release

Willis Towers Watson advises on first ever non-pensioner longevity swap for the AXA UK Group Pension Scheme

Pension Board and Trustee Consulting|Pensions Corporate Consulting|Pensions Risk Solutions|Pensions Technology
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March 18, 2021

LONDON, March 18, 2021 – Willis Towers Watson has announced that it was the sole adviser to the AXA UK Group Pension Scheme on its £3 billion longevity swap with Hannover Re to manage longevity risk in the Scheme.  The longevity swap is a market first, with over 95% of the 16,000 members covered being non-pensioners. 

Shelly Beard, Senior Director for Transactions at Willis Towers Watson and lead adviser, said: “It’s always a pleasure to work with a client that embraces innovation in the way AXA and the Trustees do. This is the third longevity swap we have partnered with the Scheme on over the last 6 years. The speed at which this transaction was completed, even with the additional structuring considerations from including non-pensioners, demonstrates that once an initial longevity swap has been completed, additional transactions can be completed quickly and efficiently. The collaborative approach taken by the AXA UK, Linklaters and Hannover Re teams was also incredibly beneficial to the project.

As well as removing the majority of the Scheme’s remaining longevity risk, the inclusion of non-pensioners is very helpful for the Scheme’s investment strategy as it provides increased cashflow certainty.”

Shelly Beard,
Senior Director

“As well as removing the majority of the Scheme’s remaining longevity risk, the inclusion of non-pensioners is very helpful for the Scheme’s investment strategy as it provides increased cashflow certainty.  Whilst pensioner longevity swaps have become relatively common place in the UK de-risking market since we led the first deal in 2009, this is the first whole of life longevity swap covering a material volume of non-pensioners and we expect significant appetite from other pension schemes to replicate the structure.  

“More widely, the longevity swap market remains buoyant and represents an opportunity for pension schemes to manage a material risk whilst retaining the flexibility to achieve the required investment returns to complete their journey plan.”

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving in more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimise benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.

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