Willis Launches Market-Leading Group Self-Invested Pension Plan for UK Associates
London, UK, March 18, 2008 – Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, has launched a market-leading group self-invested pension plan (Sipp) for its UK-based Associates.
The group Sipp, which is provided by Legal & General, has been designed to allow Associates participating in Willis’ Sharesave schemes and other stock plans to place these in a tax-efficient environment when they vest. The Sipp will also accept Willis shares that have previously vested and are held by Associates, and allow them access to the full range of investment opportunities afforded by the Sipp, including 300 insured funds from 40 fund managers.
Willis shares are traded on the NYSE in US Dollars, and the group Sipp is believed to be unique in that it allows shares to be transferred into the Sipp with no exposure to market or currency movements at the time of the sale and repurchase.
Richard Bostock, Pensions Director at Willis Limited commented, “Willis prides itself on being a progressive employer, and the launch of this initiative further reinforces this. We have a significant proportion of Associates who hold shares or invest in our Sharesave schemes – this Sipp provides an excellent incentive for them to use these shares to help fund their retirement.”
Willis drew upon the expertise of its specialist Employee Benefits division, Willis Employee Benefits Limited (WEBL), to assist in the design and provider selection for its Sipp, particularly in overcoming the US market and currency risk exposure.
Martin Ralph, UK Retirement Benefits Director at Willis Employee Benefits Limited, said, “We are seeing increasing interest in group Sipps from many employers who wish to provide their employees with greater choice and flexibility. This is a fantastic opportunity for Willis Associates to save more for retirement and hold shares tax-efficiently. Legal & General was chosen as the provider for the Willis Sipp due to their solutions-driven approach to the market risk issues posed by the NYSE traded shares, and for the breadth of their offering.”
Tony Filbin, Legal & General’s Managing Director, Corporate Wealth added, “We are delighted to have been selected as provider of the Willis Group Sipp. We believe Willis is ahead of the pack in recognising the benefits of the new generation of low cost Sipps in fulfilling the demands of modern pension schemes and future proofing their DC arrangements.”
The Sipp sits alongside Willis’ existing £1.2bn defined benefit and Stakeholder pension arrangements, and will be rolled out to all 4,000 UK-based Associates for additional retirement saving purposes over the coming months.
Willis Group Holdings Limited is a leading global insurance broker, developing and delivering professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 300 offices in some 100 countries, with a global team of approximately 16,000 Associates serving clients in some 190 countries. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com