UK - Bulk annuity sales could hit £3bn (US$4.9bn) this year after pension funds purchased more than £2.4bn during the first three quarters of 2009, Mercer said.
The consultant said this was higher than the long-term trend of around £1bn a year, but very far from the high levels of 2008 when sales were around £8bn.
Mercer principal David Ellis said: "Taken against 2008, 2009 has been flat in terms of activity and down in terms of deals completed but trustees and employers are right to have been cautious given global events.
"However, this is a lumpy business - for example, 25% of the value of deals in 2008 came from only two transactions. In 2009, clients are continuing to transact with insurers and there are good deals to be had."
He added: "Looking forward, any increase in public sector borrowing and the end of quantitative easing suggest that buyouts and buy-ins may well become more affordable. However, the implementation of Solvency II in 2012 may lead to higher prices."
Mercer research found more than £10bn of large bulk annuity deals have been completed since the start of 2007. Overall, bulk annuity sales since the start of 2007 totaled more than £13bn.
Separately, Pension Corporation said it expected the final three months of the year would be the busiest for pension buyout and buy-ins since the third quarter of 2008 - when there was approximately £2bn of risk transferred.
The latest Pension Corporation pension risk transfer index showed overall affordability for pension insurance is at its most favourable level since September 2008.
According to the buyout provider, high levels of market and economic uncertainty have lead trustees to seek to speed up risk transfer transactions.
It said the trend was being driven by concerns that scheme assets will again reduce in value if there is a second wave of asset price falls.
Schemes were also worried about future economic policy - including the phasing of quantitative easing and consequential levels of inflation - and the weakening of the corporate covenant should insolvency rates increase, Pension Corporation explained.
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