Mercer Canada has launched an online marketplace that is aimed at revolutionizing the bulk annuity market for defined benefit (DB) pension plans.

The Mercer Pension Risk Exchange will bring plan sponsors looking to lower risk together with insurers of group annuities.

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“We estimate that Canadian companies have pension plan obligations totaling $1.4 trillion,” said Jean-Philippe Provost, leader of Mercer’s retirement practice in Canada. “Many of these organizations are looking to transfer the risk but lack clear information about the true cost of a buy-in or buy-out and fear the fluctuation of market rates.

“The Mercer Pension Risk Exchange empowers sponsoring employers to be more strategic and sophisticated in their approach, allowing them to execute a buy-in or a buy-out at the best time for them and at a competitive price.”

The online tool allows plan sponsors to monitor annuity pricing and financial metrics for their pension plans, from on-boarding through to execution.

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“This new technology platform is the only solution that provides real-time and simultaneous annuity pricing monitoring in Canada, the U.S. and the UK,” said Jacques Goulet, president of Mercer’s retirement, health and benefits business globally.

“This will help clients understand market pricing and, importantly, the best time to execute a transaction. Timing can often be the most significant factor in realizing the best value.”

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