Around $20 billion in pension liabilities left corporate balance sheets in the first half of 2019, mostly going to insurance companies. The majority of the activity was in buyouts and buy-ins, which accounted for all but $660 million of activity. The activity in the first half was similar to the second half of 2018 and around the five-year average of $17.6 billion. Over 114,000 participants were impacted by the transfers.
Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC and Howden Group Pension Plan were the largest transactions in the first half at $5.2 billion and $3 billion, respectively. Lockheed Martin Corp., Commerzbank, Weyerhaeuser Co. and Marks and Spencer PLC all had risk transfers above $1 billion.
Legal & General led the insurer league tables with more than $8 billion in risk transfers. This came mostly from Rolls-Royce Holdings and Howden Group Pension Plan. The other insurers receiving the most money were Pension Insurance Corp., Athene Annuity and Life Co., Prudential Insurance Co. of America and Scottish Widows. The largest five represented 93.4% of all assets.
The United Kingdom and United States represented all of the activity. The U.K. had around $13 billion of activity, while the U.S. had around $6 billion of risk transfers.
All of the information is from P&I's Pension Risk Transfer database.