U.S. corporate pension plan buyout sales totaled more than $4.7 billion in the second quarter, a LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute sales survey found.
The second-quarter total was down 42% from the second quarter of 2018, when Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp.'s $6 billion megadeal brought that quarter's total to $11.1 billion, the highest since the fourth quarter of 2012.
The second-quarter total equaled the $4.7 billion in sales reported for the first quarter.
The survey reported a total of 112 new buyout contracts sold in the quarter ended June 30, bringing the total for the first six months of the year to 190 contracts. LIMRA reported 158 contracts sold in the first half of 2018.
LIMRA also reported a total of $880 million in buy-in product sales for the second quarter. Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md., purchased an $810 million buy-in contract from Athene Annuity and Life Co.
Such contracts are rare in the U.S. but might not be so rare in the future, said Mark Paracer, assistant research director at LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, in a news release.
"The pension buy-in market is a small but growing market," Mr. Paracer said. "While there have been only 17 buy-in contracts issued in the U.S., this is the fifth consecutive quarter with at least one buy-in contract sold."
LIMRA surveyed the 17 financial services companies that provide all the group annuity contracts for U.S. corporate pension plans.