Who Is ‘Too Big to Fail’?

Concerned that your insurance company might be designated a SIFI (Systemically Important Financial Institution)? Then read Deloitte's primer on SIFIs. Here's a synopsis and a link.

Research Roundup

For weeks, interesting studies have been gushing from the National Bureau of Economic Research and elsewhere on the economic implications of COVID-19. We've selected and summarized seven of them for you.

With BluePrint Income, AARP Ups its Ante on Annuity Sales

AARP's 38 million members can now buy income annuities and fixed-rate annuities on a platform powered by fintech firm Blueprint Income. Buyers get a complimentary annual 'retirement income check-up' from a salaried, insurance-licensed adviser. 

We Could Use Some Inflation

The Treasury said this week that it will borrow (and spend) about $3 trillion this quarter, to cover its stimulus promises. Where does that money come from and where does it go? 'The capital is going from one pocket to another,' explains Vanguard's active Treasury fund manager, who expects the stimulus to be withdrawn in 2022.
Featured

Why the U.S. had a crisis but Canada didn’t

Two Rutgers professors explain how fragmentation of the banking system in the U.S. has led to a long series of panics here, of which the Great Recession was only the latest. Canada's financial history has been quieter.

Use of peer pressure to encourage savings can backfire

Plan sponsors who urge union members to participate or to contribute more by pointing out other employees' saving behavior may produce unintended consequences, Harvard's David Laibson (in photo) and other researchers found.
News

Health insurance ate your raise

Between 2000 and 2009, the share of compensation gains provided in the form of more expensive benefits ranged from 35.2% to 60.8% for U.S. workers, depending on their level of income, according to Towers Watson.

Actuaries suggest automatic adjustments for Social Security

"Automatic adjustments to benefits, taxes, or the normal retirement age could solve Social Security’s long-range financing problem permanently and automatically—and restore public confidence in the system," says the American Academy of Actuaries.

Pensions feel the risks of “de-risking”

In July, the combined funding deficits of the 100 largest U.S. DB plans rose by $68 billion, to $254 billion, said Reuters, citing the Milliman Pension Fund Index.

Leakage from retirement plans plagues South Africa

To promote retirement savings and drive down the cost of retail annuities, South Africa's National Treasury is considering the creation of a public, low-cost "Retail Bond-backed Retirement Annuity."