Verizon Communications Inc.’s transfer of the insurance aspects of some of its pension obligations to The Prudential Insurance Company of America in 2012 represented the second largest pension buyout in U.S. history. It represented $7.5 billion and affected 41,000 retirees, so every part of the deal needed to proceed smoothly. To advise on the insurance aspects of the transaction, Verizon turned to a highly experienced, interdisciplinary team at Sutherland.
As part of the deal, which encompassed the Verizon Management Pension Plan, Prudential issued a group annuity contract to Verizon, under which Verizon agreed to pay Prudential a premium to assume responsibility for making pension payments that had been made to retired management-level employees. The Sutherland team advising Verizon brought together members of the firm’s Insurance, Tax and Employee Benefits practices. Sutherland Partners Cynthia R. Shoss and P. Bruce Wright led the team, and other attorneys who contributed included: Partners Ellen M. Dunn and Carol A. Weiser; Of Counsel Steve Herbert; Counsel Ronald R. Massumi; and Associate Joshua P. Borden.