Pulse Survey: Mental health benefits
Survey: Since the pandemic began, 66% of employers report increased use of mental health resources offered through their benefits plan, and 62% indicate a significant spike in claim costs
As the Pension Risk Transfer market continues to grow, it has become increasingly important for plan sponsors to monitor the annuity buyout market when considering a plan termination or de-risking strategy. Figure 1 illustrates retiree buyout costs with two different metrics: the red line represents only the most competitive insurers' rates from each month, while the blue line represents a straight average of all insurers' rates in this study.
These metrics demonstrate two important concepts. First, the competitive bidding process is estimated to save plan sponsors on average around 3.6% as of January 31. Second, retirees can be annuitized for an estimated 99.9% of accounting liabilities (accumulated benefit obligation).
During January 2022, average accounting discount rates increased by 36 basis points (bps), while competitive annuity purchase rates increased by 29 basis points (bps). This caused the estimated competitive retiree buyout cost as a percentage of accounting liability to increase from 99.3% to 99.9%.
When considering these results, please keep the following information in mind:
The Milliman Pension Buyout Index (MPBI) uses the FTSE Above Median AA Curve and annuity purchase composite interest rates from eight insurance companies to estimate the cost, as a percentage of accounting liability, of transferring retiree pension obligations to an insurer. To review previous monthly findings, visit milliman.com/en/periodicals/Milliman-Pension-Buyout-Index.