Propelled by two major pension buyouts, total annuity de-risking sales reached $8.5 billion in 2014, a 120 percent increase over the previous year, according to LIMRA's Secure Retirement Institute's Group Annuity Risk Transfer Survey. 

The total amount of liabilities transferred from sponsors' books was $128 billion in 2014, the highest ever recorded. 

Deals with Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Motorola, both landed by Prudential, represented more than half of last year's sales, which saw the number of buyout contracts increase to 277, from 217 in the year before. 

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.