Wednesday, 06 March 2019 11:46

Legal & General reports record £10bn in annuity sales

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Nigel Wilson of L&G Nigel Wilson of L&G


Legal & General today reported a record rise in annuity sales in 2018 to over £10bn - suggesting that the predicted death of annuities following the Pension Freedoms may have been overdone.

In its annual results, L&G said individual annuity sales were up 18% to £795m but much of the growth in annuity sales at L&G came from bulk deals as DB pension schemes looked to secure future pension payments for members.

A separate report from Defaqto on pensions out today supported the view that the much-predicted demise of annuities may be “exaggerated.”

In a mainly buoyant set of figures L&G said Assets Under Management topped £1 trillion for the first time and operating profit rose 10% to £1.9bn thanks in part to healthy annuity sales. Post-tax profits declined slightly by 3% to just over £1.8bn after last year’s figures were helped by a US tax benefit.

Pension transfer sales nearly tripled from £3.9bn to £9.1bn.

L&G Investment Management, the groups fund management business, saw AUM up 3% to just over £1bn.

Nigel Wilson, group chief executive, said: “2018 saw political uncertainty, asset market declines and slowing economic growth, but we are resilient and performed strongly. We became the UK’s first £1 trillion investment manager, executed a record £9 billion of pension risk transfer deals and invested billions in the UK’s future infrastructure and cities.

“Abroad, we grew US protection new business annual premiums by 12% and increased international assets by 13% to £258bn.

Excluding our £433m positive mortality release, operating profit was up 10% to £1.9bn and we had EPS growth of 7%, DPS growth of 7%, book value growth of 13% and an RoE of 23%.

“We are a globally trusted brand. Our strategy positions us well despite the broader environment, our current trading is strong and we expect this momentum to continue in 2019.”

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