UK - Aon consulting has questioned the capacity of the market to handle high levels of demand for buyout of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, after it conducted a study revealing an 80% surge in buyout activity in the second quarter.
Paul Belok, principal & actuary, Aon Consulting, said: "Interestingly, whilst the volumes transacting are historically high, we have seen the first casualty in the battle for market share, with Synesis pulling out of the fray. (www.globalpensions.com, 17 July 2008)
"On the other hand, Swiss Re is a new entrant and there may be more to come. We certainly expect to see continuing jockeying for position and inevitably some rationalisation of the participants in the market in due course."
Belok added the amount of activity in the market raised serious questions over capacity of providers.
He said: "In the past quarter, high demand has caused considerable stress at a number of the insurers as they seek to cope with demand.
"This has had an impact on the speed at which quotations can be turned around and indeed insurers are becoming more selective in what schemes to work with."
Aon said a side effect was there was now less competition than previously seen in relation to cases below about £20m (US$39.1m) as more providers focused on larger schemes.
Trustees lack expertise, time and resources to develop effective communications on technical pensions issues and need professional help, a major review of the British Steel saga has concluded.
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know if you think trustees should consult directly with members before agreeing to a DB superfund buyout.
Thousands of savers taking tax-free lump sums ahead of retirement are at risk of a pensions shortfall in later life due to neglecting their remaining pot, Zurich has warned.
Professional Pensions is looking to update its list of pensions master trusts in the UK ahead of authorisation. Can you help?