Methods for individual participant data meta-analysis of survival outcomes commonly focus on the hazard ratio as a measure of treatment effect. Recently, Siannis et al. (2010, Statistics in Medicine 29:3030–3045) proposed the use of percentile ratios as an alternative to hazard ratios. We describe a novel two-stage method for the meta-analysis of percentile ratios that avoids distributional assumptions at the study level. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.