Sonoco Products Company De-Risks Buying Annuity from Athene

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Hartsville, South Carolina based Sonoco Products Company, an international provider of consumer and industrial packaging, transferred its pension liabilities for approximately 8,300 plan participants and their beneficiaries under the Sonoco Products Pension Plan for Inactive Participants to Athene Annuity and Life Company and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York. In May 2021, the Sonoco plan settled $488 million of plan liabilities through lump-sum distributions to approximately 2,250 participants. $900 Million in pension liabilities were transferred to Athene.

Athene will assume responsibility for making payments to the plan participant and their beneficiaries as of September 30, 2021. In a company press release, John Florence, Sonoco V.P. of Human Resources and General Counsel stated: “Sonoco has been committed to protecting the pension benefits earned by our employees and retirees and we are thoughtfully moving pension obligations to Athene, a highly rated, well-respected retirement services company. This transaction is the final step in our previously announced actions to reduce pension liabilities and the volatility associated with the pension assets.”