U.S. life insurers took over more pension responsibility than they might have expected in 2018.
Full-year sales of group annuities used to transfer pension risk increased to about $26 billion in 2018, up 15% from the total for 2017, according to new issuer survey data from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.
(Related: Pension Risk Transfer Volume Falls)
In June, Wayne Daniel, head of U.S. pensions at MetLife, predicted pension plan sponsors might use group annuities to transfer about $20 billion in pension risk in 2018.
Seventeen insurers participated in the latest group annuity issuer survey, up from 15 insurers for the survey for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Buyout product assets increased 18%, to about $136 billion.