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EMAILED ON August 11, 2017 BY THE HUSTLE

Death and pensions

Advances in modern medicine, sunscreen, and general wokeness mean we’re living longer than ever, right?

Wrong. The rising tides of drug use, obesity, poverty, and suicide means that we’re dying at the fastest rate in nearly 20 years.

In 2015, the overall US death rate rose by 1.2%. That’s grave news for Americans — and fantastic news for corporations.

Why? If people live shorter lives than projected, employers end up paying less in pensions and retirement benefits. In fact, Bloomberg estimates the 2015 death rate spike could save the country’s biggest corporations an estimated $9.7B.

pensions

Of course, this is just a projection — and it’s important to qualify that the estimated pension payments are based on more than mortality trends alone.

But it does serve as a sour reminder that our collective loss is often a multinational, multi-billion dollar corporation’s gain.