Proposed transfer of part of the BlackRock Life Limited defined contribution pension business to Scottish Equitable plc

What’s happening? 

In May 2016 Aegon announced a deal to acquire the majority of the BlackRock Life Limited (BLL) defined contribution (DC) pensions and platform administration business. The proposal to complete the legal transfer of the business to Scottish Equitable is now going through the Court process, in accordance with Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Bringing the two propositions together will not only help Aegon grow its core market but also broaden its proposition on offer.  

Under the proposed transfer approximately 400,000 additional customers with £15bn assets will move to the non profit sub fund of Scottish Equitable.  

What does this mean for existing Scottish Equitable customers?

The transfer doesn't have a direct impact on the policies of existing Scottish Equitable customers. There's no change to the servicing, governance or terms and conditions for Scottish Equitable customers as a result of the transfer.

An Independent Expert, Nick Dumbreck, partner of Milliman LLP, has been appointed and approved by the Prudential Regulatory Authority to report on the effects of the proposed transfer on policyholders. This includes the financial security of the legal entities involved and changes to the management and servicing of the transferring policies. The Independent Expert provides his conclusions in the Independent Expert’s Report which is considered by the Court. Please see below.

Do I need to do anything?

No, you do not have to do anything unless you wish to raise a concern or objection about the transfer.

Information on the transfer

A Part VII transfer is the legal process to transfer insurance business from one company to another. The transfer can only take place with the approval of the High Court. The Court will receive reports from the UK financial services regulators, the Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, and an Independent Expert.

The Independent Expert has prepared four documents:

  • The Full report has details of the effects of the proposed transfer on both BLL and Scottish Equitable policyholders and how each conclusion has been reached. It has been prepared primarily for the benefit of the Court. There is a supplementary report also available for review.
  • The Summary of the report provides an overview of the transfer and sets out the Independent Expert’s conclusions on the effect of the transfer on policyholders. It's been created to give policyholders a good understanding of the terms of the scheme, associated fund changes and the consequences for their policies.
  • The Summary of Independent Expert’s Conclusions provides an outline of the consequences of the transfer and associated fund changes for policyholders, and in particular for those transferring from BLL to Scottish Equitable. The language used is less technical than that in the fuller versions. It is expected that a high proportion of policyholders will rely solely on this document in considering the proposed transfer.

You can find the Independents Expert’s full report, summary of the report and summary of conclusions in the ‘Important Documents’ section below.

Both the Chief Actuary and With-Profits Actuary of Scottish Equitable have also prepared reports on the effect of the proposed transfer and their reports are included in the ‘Important Documents’ section below.

The Scheme Document is the legal document that sets out the terms of the transfer in the UK. You can find a copy of the Full Scheme and a Summary of the Scheme in the ‘Important Documents’ section below. There's also a Guernsey Scheme that sets out the terms of the transfer in Guernsey.

What happens next?

Before the transfer can take place, Scottish Equitable and BlackRock need approval by the High Court of England and Wales and the relevant court in Guernsey. The Court hearing in the UK is scheduled for 21 June 2018 and to be confirmed in Guernsey, you can also find this in the important documents section below. Scottish Equitable will update the website after these hearings to confirm the Courts’ decisions.

The proposed date of transfer assuming Court approval is 1 July 2018.

The dates quoted are subject to change and we will update this web page as we move through the legal process, to reflect any changes in the timetable.

What's the process if I wish to object?

If, having read the information available, you have any concerns or feel you may be adversely affected by the proposed transfer, you have the right to object. If you wish to object, it would be helpful if you could let us know and explain the reasons for your objection when you contact us. Scottish Equitable customers should use the contact details provided above if they wish to object whilst BlackRock customers should use the BlackRock contact details also provided above.

We will acknowledge and reply in writing to all objections we receive. We will also submit details of all objections to not only the Court, which will consider them when reaching a decision on whether to approve the Scheme on 21 June 2018 but also the PRA, FCA and the Independent Expert.

You can, if you wish, choose to present your views to Court yourself or be represented at the Court.

Transfer proposals will be heard at the High Court, Business and Property Division, the Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL.

Information, including examples of the notification material being sent to the transferring BlackRock customers, is available to view on the BlackRock website(Opens new window)(Opens new window)(Opens new window) (Aegon is not responsible for the content of external websites).