U.S. pension risk transfer sales increased by 39 per cent during the third quarter of 2023, according to a report by LIMRA.

It found single premium buyout sales were US$8.1 billion, 69 per cent lower than this time last year. Year-to-date, buyout sales fell 30 per cent to $28.9 billion compared to 2022. There were 203 buyout contracts in the quarter, a 40 per cent year-over-year increase, and year to date, there were 483 buyout contracts completed, more than double (123 per cent) the number of contracts sold in the first three quarters of 2022.

Read: Annuity buyout costs increasing for U.S. DB pension plan sponsors: report

For the quarter, there were four single-premium buy-in contracts sold totalling $2.3 billion, equivalent to the same period last year. Year to date, there were eight buy-in contracts totalling $3.9 billion, a 47 per cent increase from that same period in 2022.

Single-premium buyout assets reached $256.3 billion for the quarter, up 11 per cent from the prior year, while single-premium buy-in assets were $8.1 billion, up 24 per cent from 2022.

The total pension risk transfer premium was $10.6 billion, down 60 per cent from the record set within the same period in 2022.

“After record-breaking new premium collected a year ago, Q3 2023 sales fell back to a more moderate level,” said Keith Golembiewski, LIMRA’s senior director of strategic initiatives, in a press release. “Despite the decline in premium, the record number of contracts signals broader interest with mid-sized and small plans. The economic environment continues to deliver strong funding statuses, which is encouraging more plan sponsors to think about de-risking their pension liability.”

Read: Record levels of pension risk transfers in U.K., U.S. carrying into 2023: report