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Bell Canada transfers $3.97 billion in pension liabilities to Sun Life in longevity swap


Bell Canada Pension Plan, Verdun, Quebec, on Tuesday said it transferred CA$5 billion ($3.97 billion) in pension liabilities for current retirees to Sun Life Financial under a longevity insurance agreement.

Sun Life will be responsible for paying benefits to Bell Canada’s current retirees; BCE Inc., sponsor of the Bell Canada plan, will pay monthly premiums to Sun Life and will retain responsibility for administering the plan, said a joint news release from BCE and Sun Life.

BCE has CA$18.90 billion ($15.11 billion) in pension assets, including the Bell Canada plan.

Sun Life will reinsure a portion of the longevity risk to RGA Life Reinsurance Co. of Canada and Scor Global Life.

Siim Vanaselja, chief financial officer at BCE and Bell Canada, said in the news release that the agreement was “an innovative way to derisk pension obligations” by taking measures that would not require the company to make additional cash contributions.

Rick Baert writes for Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Business Insurance.

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