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Pension risk transfers hit $252 billion

Most recent data from Pensions & Investment's Research Center show that $252 billion in pension fund assets have been involved in some method of pension risk transfer since 2009. Buyouts have been the most popular in recent years via annuity contracts, with Weyerhaeuser's $1.5 billion the most recent announcement on Jan. 30, preceded by Lockheed Martin's $1.8 billion buyout the day before.

To date, annuity buyouts have made up about 39% of all pension risk transfer transactions since mid-2009, followed by longevity swaps at 37%, which have been declining in popularity. The jump in assets seen in July 2014 is a $27.4 billion longevity swap by British telecom giant BT Group's pension scheme.