A total of nearly £1.7bn of bulk annuity deals were completed by UK insurers in the first half of 2013, setting the market on course for its most successful year since 2008, pension consultant Barnett Waddingham has found.
Publishing its latest research on the sector, the firm said the total value of deals in 2013 is now expected to 'far exceed' the value in 2012, as more than £3bn worth of transactions already completed.
In the second quarter, buy-outs worth £820m were finalised, building on what Barnett Waddingham called an 'extremely positive' first quarter, when £876m worth of business was completed.
In addition, the Pension Insurance Corporation's £1.5bn buy-out of the EMI Group Pension Fund has already been agreed in the current quarter.
Senior bulk annuity consultant Mark Paxton said the figures for the second quarter 'back up the strong start to the year seen in quarter one'.
He added: 'Some schemes have been monitoring affordability and have taken advantage of market opportunities when they have arisen. Due to the positive performance of equities over 2013 and the recent increase in yields, we are finding that some schemes which couldn't transact a year ago may be able to transact now.
'The relative winners as market conditions improve will be those schemes which are well-prepared and can take advantage quickly as opportunities arise.'