The number of defined benefit (DB) scheme members with benefits protected by an insurer will double by the middle of the decade, according to Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP).
The bulk annuity market has surged over recent years with fewer than one in ten members backed by an insurer, growing to one in six now.
This is set to grow further, the consultancy said, with one in three expected to be covered by a buy-in or buyout within just a few years.
Just two years ago the market insured around £24bn of DB scheme liabilities, but this boomed to £44bn last year. And while just £20.8bn has been confirmed as insured this year so far, LCP predicted a £25bn total for the year, making it the second busiest ever.
The consultancy has published a paper, titled Will your company pension end up being paid by an insurance company - and should you care?, to explain to members what happens in a bulk annuity transaction.
Partner and buyout specialist Imogen Cothay said: "Millions of pension scheme members are blissfully unaware of all the activity that is going on to make sure their pensions are paid in full."
She said members should regard insurance as a "positive action providing a safe home" for their benefits.
This may be particularly the case if there is an increase in insolvencies as a result of the economic challenges arising from the pandemic, LCP said, as employers pay higher contributions to secure benefits outside of the Pension Protection Fund.
The defined benefit (DB) scheme of Evonik Holdings UK has agreed a £544m full buy-in with Legal & General (L&G) Assurance Society.
Pension risk transfer volumes this year will look similar to those in 2020 as market volatility creates opportunities for schemes able to act fast, according to Willis Towers Watson.
The Pension Schemes Bill has been scheduled for ping-pong, its penultimate step before becoming law.
The Marie Curie defined benefit (DB) scheme has entered into a circa £30m full scheme buy-in agreement with Legal & General (L&G) Assurance Society.
Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company has announced it completed four longevity reinsurance transactions with Legal & General (L&G) Assurance Society last year.