Saving Social Security Is a Bipartisan Issue: Survey

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/22/saving-social-security-is-a-bipartisan-issue-survey/

Excerpt:

Most Americans of both political parties agree there Is a retirement crisis ahead.

A majority of those surveyed say COVID-19 has delayed their retirement plans.

Many stated that pension plans are better than 401(k) plans.

Author(s):  Ginger Szala

Publication Date: 22 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

U.S. Death Counts Have Climbed for All Adult Age Groups: Actuary

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/25/u-s-death-counts-have-climbed-for-all-adult-age-groups-actuary/

Excerpt:

The actual number of deaths for people of all ages has been 18.4% higher than the expected number.

For women, the worst actual-to-expected death ratio is for the 35-44 age group.

For men, the highest percentage of excess deaths was was for the 35-54 age group.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 25 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Fed Chairman Vows to Keep Supporting Economic Recovery

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/23/fed-chairman-vows-to-keep-supporting-economic-recovery/

Excerpt:

The Fed will continue $120 billion in monthly bond purchases and communicate any change.

Powell doesn’t expect any large and persistent increases in inflation; some pickup will be temporary.

Powell says getting the pandemic under control is needed for the economy to reopen.

Author(s): Bernice Napach

Publication Date: 23 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

MetLife Sees a Baby Bust

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/08/metlife-sees-a-baby-bust/?kw=MetLife%20Sees%20a%20Baby%20Bust

Graphic:

Excerpt:

Analysts at the Brookings Institution have predicted, based on consumer surveys and demographic data for the period following the 1918 influenza pandemic, that the number of U.S. births could fall by about 300,000 to 500,000 this year, because of health concerns and the effects of the pandemic on the economy.

MetLife has an indication that the Brookings analysts are correct: Enrollees in the group short-term disability plans MetLife runs for employers are filing fewer pregnancy-related STD claims.

MetLife sells employers group STD coverage, and it also administers group STD plans for employers that choose to self-insure.

STD claims for pregnancy-related leave fell 20% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Phil Bruen, a senior vice president for group life and disability product management at MetLife.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 8 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

MassMutual Under Investigation Over ‘Roaring Kitty’

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/04/state-regulator-probing-roaring-kitty-massmutual/

Excerpt:

Massachusetts’ top securities regulator, William Galvin, is looking into the actions of Keith Patrick Gill, the former MassMutual broker who played a key role in the trading frenzy surrounding video game retailer GameStop and other stock last week.

Gill is the person behind the Roaring Kitty YouTube streams that, combined with a string of posts by Reddit user DeepF***ingValue, drove a sudden increase in GameStop stock trading, slamming hedge funds that had bet against the struggling retailer.

“I can confirm our Securities Division sent an inquiry to MassMutual last Friday asking about Mr. Gill’s status,” a spokesperson for Galvin told ThinkAdvisor on Thursday.

Author(s): Jeff Berman

Publication Date: 4 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Look Better

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/02/04/covid-19-numbers-continue-to-look-better/

Graphic:

Excerpt:

The top federal COVID-19 tracking team says key pandemic intensity indicators improved last week.

The U.S. death rate increased slightly, but the number of new cases fell, and the percentage of people tested who actually had the virus that causes COVID-19 also fell, according to the White House COVID-19 Team Data Strategy and Execution Workgroup.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 4 February 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

National COVID-19 Numbers Improve

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/01/28/national-covid-19-numbers-improve/

Excerpt:

President Joe Biden’s administration is reorganizing federal pandemic management efforts. The tracking team has left out its usual list of observations and recommendations.

In place of the weekly notes, the team has included a statement indicating that, “The weekly State Profile Reports are currently under review. The format and content may change in coming reports.”

The weekly reports have distilled current knowledge about COVID-19 trends that could shape benefits costs for every life and health product, including annuities, and efforts to ease pandemic-related social distancing rules.

One question is whether the new COVID-19 vaccination program will have any early effect on the pandemic intensity level.

Graph:

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 28 January 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID-19 and Long-Term Care: LTCI Insider

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/01/30/covid-19-and-long-term-care-ltci-insider/

Excerpt:

The impact on the nursing home industry has been catastrophic!

With occupancy rates plummeting, this industry is in deep financial trouble.

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) conducted a survey of 953 nursing home providers across the U.S. on their financial and staffing challenges.

Two-thirds of nursing homes operators say they won’t make it another year given current operating pace due to increased COVID-19 costs.

90% of nursing homes are currently operating at a loss or less than 3% profit margin.

65% are currently operating at a loss.

Author: Margie Barrie

Publication Date: 30 January 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Social Security COLA: What’s Working, What’s Not

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/01/12/social-security-cola-whats-working-whats-not/

Excerpt:

The only remaining provider of inflation-protected annuities in the United States is the federal government through Social Security. Retirees today can buy more of this income by waiting until age 70 to claim Social Security, thereby boosting their inflation-protected income by 30% over their full retirement age.


For healthy, higher-income retirees who have seen the largest improvements in longevity in recent decades, this increase in lifetime inflation-protected income appears to be a bargain.

Authors: Jason Fichtner and Michael Finke

Publication Date: 12 January 2021

Publication Site: Think Advisor