Canada, Toronto

Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), has launched the Mercer Pension Risk Exchange, an online marketplace aimed at revolutionising the bulk annuity market for defined benefit (DB) pensions in Canada. The first of its kind, the Mercer Pension Risk Exchange is an innovative solution that brings together plan sponsors looking to lower risk and insurers of group annuities.

Defined benefit pension plans in Canada face many challenges, from longevity to volatile markets, and organizations are looking for help mitigating them. The platform will provide increased transparency, competiveness and speed of execution, ultimately leading to better outcomes for DB plan sponsors and participants by transferring pension liabilities to an insurance provider.

“We estimate that Canadian companies have pension plan obligations totaling $1.4 trillion. Many of these organizations are looking to transfer the risk but lack clear information about the true cost of a buy-in or buy-out and fear the fluctuation of market rates, ” said Jean-Philippe Provost, leader of Mercer’s Retirement Practice in Canada. “The Mercer Pension Risk Exchange empowers sponsoring employers to be more strategic and sophisticated in their approach, allowing them to execute a buy-in or a buyout at the best time for them and at a competitive price.”

Sponsors can monitor annuity pricing and financial metrics for their pension plans clearly and easily, from on-boarding to execution.

“This new technology platform is the only solution that provides real-time and simultaneous annuity pricing monitoring in Canada, the US and the UK. This will help clients understand market pricing and, importantly, the best time to execute a transaction,” said Jacques Goulet, president of Mercer's Retirement, Health, and Benefits business globally. “Timing can often be the most significant factor in realizing the best value.”

As lead advisor on the largest annuity deal ever done in Canada, totaling $530 million, as well as advising on annuity transactions totaling more than $1 billion in 2015, Mercer continues to be the clear industry leader in the country. The Mercer Pension Risk Exchange is a leap forward in the management of pension risk.

About Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting leader in health, wealth and careers. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 57,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $13 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on Twitter @MercerCanada.