U.S. corporate pension plan buyout sales totaled $11.3 billion in the fourth quarter, a LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute sales survey found.
The amount for the quarter was 5% higher than the same period in 2018. For the year, buyout sales totaled $28 billion, up 2% from the 2018 total.
The first three quarters saw $4.8 billion, $4.2 billion and $7.7 billion, respectively, in buyout sales. Traditionally, the fourth quarter of any year has seen the most activity.
The total for 2019 is the largest since 2012, when megadeals by General Motors Co., Detroit, and Verizon Communications Inc., New York, made up the majority of the total $36 billion in buyout sales.
While there were no megadeals that remotely compared to those by GM or Verizon, LIMRA reported a record-breaking 501 buyout contracts for 2019.
LIMRA also reported a total of $970 million in buy-in product sales for the fourth quarter, a new record for the U.S. market. The total was zero in the third quarter.
LIMRA had reported a total of $880 million in buy-in product sales for the second quarter, mostly due to Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin's purchase of an $810 million buy-in contract from Athene Annuity and Life Co.