It has been a steady start for the UK bulk annuity insurers in the first part of 2017. For schemes considering a partial transaction, pensioner pricing continues to look attractive relative to gilt yields.
Final reporting from the insurers for 2016 confirmed a flurry of activity in the last quarter of the year for the bulk annuity providers, with a significant amount of transactions completed. This resulted in total business with UK pension schemes of just over £10.2bn for 2016.
Quarter 4 of 2015 saw a very strong finish to the year for the UK bulk annuity market. Overall, the value of business in 2015 fell just short of the record set in 2014, but was considerably above previous years.
Quarter 3 of 2015 was another strong quarter for the UK bulk annuity insurers, and while 2015 may not surpass the record-breaking volumes of 2014, it is already the second highest year on record.
Compared to a subdued start to the year, Quarter 2 of 2015 saw a large upturn in business completed by UK insurers. In August, the two leading insurers in the medically underwritten bulk annuity market announced their intention to merge.
Quarter 1 of 2015 was a relatively quiet period for the bulk annuity market following a record-breaking 2014. However, there has been increased activity since the quarter end and the second half of the year is expected to see the arrival of new entrants.