Money bag

Over £7bn of bulk annuities completed to date


The expertise to deliver bespoke solutions


AA- Insurer Financial Strength rating from Fitch

Why consider a Bulk Purchase Annuity?

Bulk Annuity solutions help Defined Benefit pension schemes to de-risk. It's essentially an insurance policy that helps secure members’ benefits by removing risks to the scheme, such as:

  • Investment underperformance
  • Members living longer than expected
  • Interest rate changes and inflation

Our Bulk Annuity solutions

There are two main solutions for Defined Benefit schemes – "Buy-in" or "Buy-out" policies, and we offer both.

The main difference between the two options is that a "Buy-in" covers a proportion of the pension scheme’s liabilities and is held as an asset of the scheme. This means the pension scheme continues to make pension payments directly to members. While with the "Buy-out" option, an insurance policy is issued to each pension scheme member individually, which enables the scheme to wind up.

Buy-in option for DB schemes

  • Removes investment, longevity, interest rate and inflation risks for the members covered by the policy.
  • The Buy-in is held as an asset of the scheme and we make monthly payments to the scheme in relation to the benefits of covered members.
  • The scheme remains responsible for making payments to members.
  • Can cover a subset of the liabilities allowing for partial or phased de-risking.

Buy-out option for DB schemes

  • Removes investment, longevity, interest rate and inflation risk as well as the risks of future running expenses for the scheme.
  • Typically can cover all members of the scheme, both deferred and current pensioners.
  • Members covered by the Buy-out would be issued individual policies by us.
  • We pay the monthly pensioner payroll directly to members and take responsibility for ongoing administration.
  • Additional cover can be bought to cover any data risks, providing more certainty for employers.

Is my scheme ready for a Bulk Purchase Annuity?

We’re happy to talk no matter where you are on your de-risking journey. Send us an email and we can arrange a time to talk about next steps.

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In general, your Scheme Actuary should provide regular advice about the options open to you depending on where you are on your de-risking journey.

If your Scheme Actuary advises a transaction looks like it could be feasible, appointing a specialist de-risking consultant will help you to work out if a Buy-in or a Buy-out solution is suitable for your pension scheme.

Specialist consultants will also be able to advise you on the steps to take to get your scheme into a position which is attractive to the insurance market.

Why choose Standard Life for your Bulk Purchase Annuity policy?


Our experience

  • We have over 13m policyholders, paying over £250m per month in pension payments*
  • We have the expertise to tailor and develop bespoke solutions to meet your needs
  • We’ve completed more than £7bn of bulk annuity deals to date*

We offer the full package

  • For “Buy-ins” we offer an umbrella contract approach, so future transactions can be completed quickly and efficiently
  • The Standard Life Trustee Buy-out Plan covers your DC liabilities as well
  • Member care is our top priority – we have a dedicated Client Services team to provide a seamless experience

Financial strength

  • We’re part of the Phoenix Group – the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business
  • Phoenix is well-diversified and has a AA- rating from Fitch ratings

Focus on sustainability

  • We integrate ESG considerations into our investments – including an exclusions policy
  • We’re committed to achieving a net-zero carbon impact by 2050

*Figures correct as at September 2021

Meet our expert team

Related pages

What members can expect

Find out more about the experience Standard Life gives pension members

How we engage members >

Trustee Buy-out Plan – information for advisers

Our Trustee Buy-out Plan acts as a 'bulk 32 section buy-out'.

Find out more on Adviserzone >

More about Standard Life

Find out more about the wider Standard Life offering and how we can help.

Why choose Standard Life >