United Kingdom

Aon sees increase in smaller bulk annuity transactions

First half of 2020 offered favourable market dynamics

LONDON, 24 August 2020 – Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has said that favourable market dynamics in the first half of 2020 led to an increase in the number of smaller bulk annuity transactions relative to recent years – and it expects the trend to continue through the rest of the year.

The first half of 2020 saw a near 20% increase in the number of smaller (sub-£100 million) transactions compared to the same period last year. Aon expects this trend to accelerate through the remainder of 2020.

Aon's analysis of the market and views from insurers indicate that several factors contributed to the favourable conditions for smaller transactions:

  • Fewer jumbo transactions in the market compared to last year, which has meant insurers have had more capital and manpower to deploy across a wider spectrum of transactions
  • An increase in the use of streamlined auction processes for smaller transactions - which particularly helped during recent volatile market conditions
  • Insurers investing in technology and operational capacity at the smaller end of the market, to increase supply for smaller schemes looking to de-risk

Stephen Purves, partner at Aon, said:
"There has been a misconception that smaller schemes struggle to access competitive pricing from insurers, so it is really pleasing to see them taking advantage of these market opportunities and transacting in the first half of 2020. Attractive insurer pricing and increased insurer capacity for well-prepared schemes has completed the picture.

“A number of factors, including the impact of COVID-19, market volatility and an increased insurer capacity, have led to many more smaller transactions taking place. This is particularly so when compared to recent years in which larger transactions have dominated – and maybe it has changed the perception of the sort of schemes that should and can come to market.”

Stephen Purves continued: “Streamlined transaction processes such as Aon’s Pathway, coupled with agile governance from scheme trustees, has meant that smaller schemes have been ideally placed to take advantage of the market opportunities that have arisen so far in 2020.

“Looking ahead, insurers are expecting this activity at the smaller end of the market to continue through to the end of the year. It’s clear that they are placing increased importance on good scheme preparation to maximise their interest and to ensure schemes are ready to trade when opportunities arise."

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

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Media Contacts:

Anelia Fikiina
Kekst CNC
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Colin Mayes
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