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Legal & General agrees pension annuity deal with New Ireland

UK insurer Legal & General has agreed a multi-million euro deal to de-risk the pension book of New Ireland Assurance.

L&G is expected to agree to reinsuring about €136m of New Ireland's existing annuity business and is likely to take on more of the Irish firm's business into the future.

The deal means L&G will take on the burden of paying out defined benefit and final salary promises covered by the agreement, and will take over from New Ireland.

The deal covers both annuities purchased by individual customers and bulk annuities arranged by Irish pension schemes.

Buyouts have become more common as employers and life offices shift the payment of pension promises off their balance sheets. Over the past five years more than €30bn of DB liabilities have moved to UK insurers.

The deal is L&G's first annuity transaction outside the UK. It has previously made clear it sees opportunities overseas in the next three to five years.

Elsewhere, Allianz Global Assistance Group, which employs 39 people at its Sandyford office, has reported a 9pc increase in group turnover for 2012, bringing the total to €2.24bn.

In Ireland, they specialise in roadside assistance and travel insurance services.

The business's country manager for Ireland Roland Hesse commented: "2012 saw us successfully complete our transformation from Mondial Assistance Ireland to Allianz Global Assistance Ireland, strengthening our synergies with the group to the benefit of our clients, their customers and our own employees.

"Our automotive division continued to grow, whilst bringing in new manufacturers to widen our market reach and our travel insurance solutions continue to be recognised as quality providers.

"Whilst challenges will need to be overcome the continued dedication and commitment of our Irish team gives us confidence that those ambitions will be realised," he added.

Irish Independent