The AT Mays Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, the Inspirations Group Pension Scheme and the Sun International (UK) Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, collectively referred to as the Thomas Cook Travel Schemes (the Schemes), have agreed buy-ins with Pension Insurance Corporation plc (PIC) with a total premium of c£50m.

The last deal for the Schemes completed in November 2023. The buy-ins secure the liabilities of 520 members across the Schemes to receive benefits at, or above Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation levels.

PIC was selected following an insurance market review and competitive selection process.

The exact outcome for each member will not be known until the buy-outs occur. This is expected to happen during 2024, as further work is required for each scheme before they can be fully transferred to PIC.

Open Trustees acts as sole trustee to the Schemes. Open Trustees is an independent entity but is wholly owned by international law firm, Osborne Clarke LLP. Open Trustees was advised by Mercer as Risk Transfer advisor and Gowling WLG LLP as legal advisor.

Jonathan Hazlett, Managing Director of Open Trustees said: 

 "Entering into these buy-in policies with PIC is a good outcome. The insurance market is extremely busy at the current time and it can be very challenging to secure member benefits for smaller schemes. Notwithstanding this, PIC has offered us the opportunity to ensure that the Schemes' members receive benefits greater than what they would have received from the PPF. It has been a long process getting to this point. Many members will now receive higher benefits than they might otherwise have expected had the Schemes had entered the PPF."

Ben Stone, Lead adviser to the Open Trustees and Risk Transfer Partner at Mercer added:

“It is a great achievement for the Trustees to reach this significant stage in securing benefits with PIC for members of the three Thomas Cook Travel Schemes. The buy-in policies with PIC will enable members of the schemes to receive benefits above the level of benefits they have been receiving from the PPF and we look forward to supporting the Trustees over coming months to complete that process.”

Tristan Walker-Buckton, Head of Pricing at PIC, said:

“Many much larger schemes are now seeking to de-risk this year, so demonstrating that PIC is interested in the whole buyout market and has the adaptability and scale to accommodate all sizes of deal is important to us. Open Trustees have now been able to completely de-risk these three Schemes, providing greater security to the members.”

Notes to editors:

1. The AT Mays Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme and the Inspirations Group Pension Scheme entered a PPF assessment period on 23 September 2019. Thomas Cook UK Travel Limited (Thomas Cook) was the principal employer to each of the schemes. For both schemes, members' benefits were adjusted to PPF compensation levels with effect from 23 September 2019.

2. The Sun International (UK) Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme entered a PPF assessment period on 8 November 2019. Sun International (UK) Limited was the principal employer to the scheme. Members' benefits were adjusted to PPF compensation levels with effect from 8 November 2019.

3. Winding up orders were made against 26 companies in the Thomas Cook Group (the Group) on 23 September 2019 and a further 27 companies in the Group on 8 November 2019.

4. The Official Receiver was appointed as liquidator to the Group of companies. The High Court also appointed AlixPartners UK LLP to certain companies in the Group as Special Managers to assist the Official Receiver in managing the affairs, business and property of some of these Group companies.

5. The buy-outs with PIC are expected to complete during 2024 once the Schemes have received all monies due to them from the Group's liquidation. The Schemes will continue to be protected by the PPF during the buy-in period until the buy-outs are completed.

6. The purpose of Pension Insurance Corporation plc (PIC) is to pay the pensions of its current and future policyholders. PIC provides secure and stable retirement incomes through leading customer service, comprehensive risk management and excellence in asset and liability management. At half-year 2023, PIC had insured 339,900 pension scheme members and had £44.9 billion in financial investments, accumulated through the provision of tailored pension insurance buyouts and buy-ins to the trustees and sponsors of U.K. defined benefit pension schemes. Clients include FTSE 100 companies, multinationals and the public sector. PIC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority (FRN 454345). For further information please visit

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