BOSTON — December 15, 2020 — GE (NYSE:GE) announced today that it transferred approximately $1.7 billion of its U.S. GE Pension Plan obligations by purchasing group annuity contracts from wholly owned subsidiaries of Athene Holding Ltd. (“Athene”) (NYSE: ATH), a leading retirement services company.
Approximately 70,000 of GE’s retirees and beneficiaries with benefits under $360 per month will receive their monthly pension benefit payments from one of Athene’s wholly owned subsidiaries, either Athene Annuity and Life Company or Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York as part of this transfer. The purchase of the group annuity contracts will be funded directly by assets of the U.S. GE Pension Plan.
Kevin Cox, GE’s Chief Human Resources Officer, said, “GE continues to appreciate the thousands of retirees who delivered for our customers, our shareholders, and for each other. As we seek to balance GE’s ongoing obligations with the need to strengthen our balance sheet, we are pleased to enter into this arrangement with Athene – a highly rated company that will serve this group of retirees well, ensuring they receive the same pension benefit, on the same schedule, as what they receive today.”
The pension transfer will not change the amount of the monthly pension benefit being paid to affected retirees. The GE Pension Plan engaged an independent fiduciary to select an annuity provider solely in the interest of participants and their beneficiaries. The group annuity contracts include an irrevocable commitment by Athene to make annuity payments to retirees and beneficiaries covered under the annuity contracts.
Bill Wheeler, President of Athene, said, “We are pleased to have been selected as a trusted partner by GE to help reduce the company’s pension risk through this transaction. Athene is committed to solutions that help plan sponsors meet their financial obligations while ensuring the financial security of their plan participants.”
This transaction does not materially impact the plan’s funded status and follows GE’s recent announcement to voluntarily pre-fund $2.5 billion of estimated minimum ERISA GE Pension Plan funding requirements for 2021, 2022, and into 2023.
GE (NYSE:GE) rises to the challenge of building a world that works. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today the company’s dedicated team, leading technology, and global reach and capabilities help the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. GE’s people are diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest level of integrity and focus to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for its customers.
About Athene Holding Ltd.
Athene, through its subsidiaries, is a leading retirement services company that issues, reinsures and acquires retirement savings products designed for the increasing number of individuals and institutions seeking to fund retirement needs. The products offered by Athene include:
- Retail fixed and fixed indexed annuity products;
- Reinsurance arrangements with third-party annuity providers; and
- Institutional products, such as funding agreements and group annuity contracts related to pension risk transfers.
Athene had total assets of $191.1 billion as of September 30, 2020. Athene's principal subsidiaries include Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company, a Delaware-domiciled insurance company, Athene Annuity and Life Company, an Iowa-domiciled insurance company, Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York, a New York-domiciled insurance company and Athene Life Re Ltd., a Bermuda-domiciled reinsurer. Further information about our companies can be found at www.athene.com.
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