2019 market overview

  • Record-breaking $5.2 billion in group annuity sales in 2019
  • Seven deals over $250 million, two even crossed the $500 million threshold
  • Several deals were made public, including Iron Ore Company, Domtar and Rayonier Advanced Materials
  • Sun Life was the #1 provider of group annuities in Canada

2019 group annuity market infographic
View key stats from 2019 



Our Observations

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

1. The market continues to grow

Seventh consecutive year of record sales

Strong solvency ratios and competitive pricing were key factors in 2019

2. The standard for large deals increases1

Deals over $250M
2019: 7
2018: 3
2017: 1 

Deals over $500M
2019: 2
2018: 2
2017: 1

3. Annuity buy-ins remain popular1

In 2019:
$2.6B / 22 deals completed

Since 2009:
$9.3B /  110 deals completed

“Insurers continued to show a strong appetite for large transactions and provided competitive pricing for plan sponsors. Strong solvency funding ratios, annuity-ready asset mixes and a desire to avoid further geopolitical risk made it easy for some plan sponsors to transact in Q4.”

 – 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 18, 2020)
1Sun Life estimates.