U.S. corporate pension plan buyout sales totaled about $10.5 billion during the fourth quarter and $26 billion for all of 2018, a LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute sales survey found.
The fourth-quarter total falls short of the $11.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2017, but it is the third time since LIMRA began recording buyout sales that the fourth-quarter total exceeded $10 billion. The calendar-year total, meanwhile, exceeded the $23 billion in total buyouts for 2017.
"Sales tend to be larger in the end of the year. We've seen buyout sales over $5 billion in the fourth quarter going back to 2014," said Eugene Noble, research analyst at the institute, in a news release. "This also marks our 15th consecutive quarter with over $1 billion in sales."
Mr. Noble said one big reason the total for the year was larger was the number of mid- to large-size pension risk transfer deals. Also, the market saw the entry of two more companies — CMFG Life Insurance Co. and Great American Insurance Group — bringing the total to 17 insurance companies in the PRT market.