Abstract In this paper, we develop a recursive method to derive an exact numerical and nearly analytical representation of the Laplace transform of the transition density function with respect to the time variable for time-homogeneous diffusion processes. We further apply this recursion algorithm to the pricing of mortality-linked derivatives. Given an arbitrary stochastic future lifetime T , the probability distribution function of the present value of a cash flow depending on T can be approximated by a mixture of exponentials, based on Jacobi polynomial expansions. In case of mortality-linked derivative pricing, the required Laplace inversion can be avoided by introducing this mixture of exponentials as an approximation of the distribution of the survival time T in the recursion scheme. This approximation significantly improves the efficiency of the algorithm.