Principal Financial Group and Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of MetLife Inc., announced they have entered into an agreement with health technology company Philips North America LLC to transfer approximately $1.2 billion of Philips North America Pension Plan obligations to Principal and MetLife. The agreement, which was signed in the fourth quarter of 2020, provides guaranteed retirement income for about 11,000 retirees, beneficiaries and deferred participants in the pension plan. MetLife will act as the lead administrator for the monthly benefits for about 9,000 retirees and their beneficiaries; Des Moines-based Principal will have financial responsibility for a portion of those monthly benefits and will settle such obligations directly with MetLife. Principal will have sole responsibility for the roughly 2,000 deferred participants. Pension risk transfers are a strategy for large companies to transfer their pension risk to insurers to avoid earnings volatility and focus on their core businesses. Pensions & Investments magazine has reported more than $200 billion in defined benefit liabilities moving to insurers from plan sponsors over the past decade.