U.S. corporate pension plan buyouts reached $6.38 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up 7.4% from the same quarter in 2016, a LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute sales survey found.
This follows a record second-quarter total of $4.1 billion, nearly triple the total during the second quarter of 2016. Most buyout activity has traditionally taken place in the second half of calendar years. Sales in the third and fourth quarter of 2016, for example, totaled $5.9 billion and $5.7 billion, respectively.
"Following record sales in the second quarter, single-premium buyout sales marked the highest third-quarter sales total on record since the late 1980s," said Eugene Noble, research analyst at LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, in a news release. "Unlike quarters where one or two large contracts propelled the growth, the majority of companies reported positive growth in the third quarter. With new entrants and strong economic indicators, the institute is forecasting 2017 sales to exceed $19 billion and 2018 sales to top $20 billion."
The first nine months of 2017 saw $11.89 billion in sales, compared to $8.06 billion for the first three quarters of 2016.
The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute surveys the 15 financial services companies that provide all the group annuity contracts for the U.S. for its Group Annuity Risk Transfer Survey every quarter.
Pension buyout activity since the beginning of 2012 is available on LIMRA's website.