An article which ran on CNBC.com on Wednesday May 8th had the following key points:
- One of the biggest investment opportunities over the next decade will be in companies working to delay human death, a market expected to be worth at least $600 billion by 2025, according to Bank of America analysts.
- The analysts say companies such as Illumina and Alphabet are on the cusp of “bringing unprecedented increases to the quality and length of human lifespans.”
- The Bank of America team highlights five key sub-themes, as well as several stocks with exposure to the trend.
You can read the entire article here: www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/techs-next-big-disruption-could-be-delaying-death.html
The intention of this article was to alert investors to an opportunity. If this becomes a reality, it isn’t just the stock prices of these companies that will be increasing, but the contributions of all sponsors of defined benefit plans! The longer people live to collect their pensions, the more sponsors will have to contribute to fund for them. So this article is great news for us as humans, but potentially not so great for DB plan sponsors. (Another concern though is for those without DB plans, living to 100 could result in outliving the amounts saved in a 401(k), IRA or similar arrangement.)
Many of you will have heard me say this before – we as a society are spending a lot of time and money to prolong our life expectancy. Not just with amazing new drugs to treat disease and other illness, but also things like knee and hip replacement technology. A friend who just recently had a pace-maker inserted, and it was considered minimally invasive and he is expected to be released from the hospital one day after the surgery, and be back at work two days after that! The advances we have to not only prolong, but improve, our lives is hard to believe sometimes.
What this means for sponsors of defined benefit LOSAPs is that if predictions like this come true, costs will continue to rise. Here in New York State, it is time that the State Law is amended to increase the defined contribution plan benefits to be competitive with the DB plans. This would allow sponsors to move away from DB plans with these types of risks.