Pru (Photo: Douglas C. Pizac/AP)

Prudential Financial Inc. announced Thursday that it has sold a group annuity contract big enough to cover $923 million in defined benefit pension plan obligations.

The Newark, New Jersey-based insurer sold the annuity to the Raytheon Company, a defense contractor based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Raytheon is using the annuity to transfer pension obligations for 13,000 U.S. retirees who worked for Raytheon units that Raytheon classifies as discontinued operations, and for those retirees’ beneficiaries.

(Related: 5 Benefits Trends on Prudential’s Radar Now)

Prudential has been one of the most active players in the pension risk transfer market.

The new deal could account for about 5% of total 2018 pension risk transfer deal flow.

Wayne Daniel, head of U.S. pensions at another major market player, MetLife Inc., estimated in June, at a conference organized by S&P Global, that employers might transfer a total of about $20 billion in pension risk to insurers this year.

MetLife announced a $6 billion pension risk transfer deal with FedEx in May, and Prudential announced a $1.2 billion deal with Pension Insurance Corp. PLC, a company in the United Kingdom, that month.

American International Group Inc. reported in May that one of its units had closed on two previously announced pension risk transfer deals with a total obligation value of about $1.5 billion.

What Does This Mean for Ordinary Financial Professionals?

For financial professionals who work with individual clients, the deals could create client service opportunities.

One way financial professionals could benefit is by reaching out to clients to help if those clients might be seen by the administrators of past employers’ pension plans as lost participants.

Some companies involved in big pension risk transfer deals have reported having trouble with tracking down participants. Making sure clients are found could be a new twist on providing assistance with locating unclaimed property.

Simply offering to explain what the pension risk transfer notices mean might be another chance to reach out to clients.

In some classes, the notices may make clients aware of pension benefits uncertainty and increase their interest in individual annuities and permanent life products.

— Read Investors Helping Life Insurers Shift to Pension Transfer Market: Analyston ThinkAdvisor.

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