2018 market overview

  • Record-breaking $4.6 billion in group annuity sales in 2018
  • Increase of nearly $1 billion over 2017 sales of $3.7 billion
  • Sun Life Financial was the #1 provider of group annuities in Canada

2018 group annuity market infographic
View key stats from 2018



Our Observations

Based on what we saw, we identified three main themes:

1. Strong Q4 sales


Q4 sales hit nearly $2 billion despite the 10% decrease in funding levels1

2. Many plans moved to annuity-ready asset mixes

No or little equities
Duration matched portfolio

Market dips don't derail a planned annuity purchase

3. The size of deals are increasing2

Deals over $100M$2.6B / 22 deals completed

2018: 17


“Even though solvency funding dipped significantly in the last quarter, many plan sponsors had already transitioned into annuity-ready asset mixes and proceeded to implement their risk management strategy. The decline in the markets was a timely reminder for plan sponsors that it’s better to manage their long term risks rather than trying to predict where markets will go.

 – Brent Simmons, Senior Managing Director & Head, Defined Benefit Solutions


Want to interview Brent? If you’re a journalist, please contact our media relations team.

Group annuities are provided by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.

Unless otherwise stated, results are based on the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (February 14, 2019)
1Defined benefit plans end 2018 on a sour note, Mercer, January 3, 2019.
2Sun Life estimates.