Athene Holding (ATH) Completes Significant Pension Risk Transfer Transaction with JCPenney
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Athene Holding Ltd. ("Athene") (NYSE: ATH), a leading financial services company specializing in retirement services, announced the close of a significant pension risk transfer transaction in connection with JCPenney's1 pension plan termination. Under the terms of the transaction, which was signed in March 2021, JCPenney transferred $2.8 billion in pension obligations to Athene. Athene's wholly-owned subsidiaries, Athene Annuity and Life Company ("AAIA"), and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York ("AANY"), have agreed to provide annuity benefits for approximately 30,000 participants of JCPenney's pension plan who are currently receiving benefits, or will receive benefits in the future.
"We are pleased to serve as a trusted partner to JCPenney in providing retirement security to its retirees and their beneficiaries," said Sean Brennan, EVP of Pension Risk Transfer and Flow Reinsurance at Athene. "By choosing Athene, JCPenney is entrusting its pension promises to a company with deep experience and expertise in the long-term management of retirement benefits. Rather than face benefit reductions amid the Company's restructuring activity, the retirees covered by this transaction can be confident they will receive the same pension benefit, on the same schedule, as what they currently receive, or expected to receive in the future."
"We wanted to find a better solution for our pension plan participants than the distress termination. With the assistance of multiple pension termination experts, we reached an agreement with Athene Holding Ltd. to purchase annuities for all pension plan participants in conjunction with the plan termination," said Steve Whaley, Chair of the Benefit Plan Investment Committee of J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc.
"Pension risk transfer is an attractive solution for plan sponsors interested in a plan termination, including those going through a company restructuring. Athene is well-positioned to provide plan sponsors with customized solutions that achieve their desired objectives while ensuring the financial security of their plan participants," said Bill Wheeler, President of Athene. "Our ability to structure innovative solutions combined with our differentiated investment, actuarial, risk management, operational capabilities, and strong balance sheet leaves Athene uniquely positioned to serve the multi-trillion-dollar defined benefit marketplace."
Under the agreement, AAIA and AANY have each committed to issuing a group annuity contract to JCPenney and individual annuity certificates to applicable participants.
Athene utilized its strategic capital vehicle, Athene Reinsurance Co-investment ("ACRA"), to support the completion of this transaction. Athene is a leader within the pension risk transfer industry, partnering with plan sponsors and intermediaries on more than $18.5 billion of transactions to support more than 300,000 annuitants since entering the market. To learn more about Athene's PRT solutions, visit www.athene.com/PRT.
1 All references to JCPenney refer to the company now known as COPPER Sub Corporation, Inc.
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