Still, Milliman warns that plan sponsors and practitioners may face more scrutiny this year and likely will be required to justify their assumptions.

The COVID-19 has had a significant impact on current mortality rates, but the effect on retirement plans may not be felt for a while, Milliman said in a recent analysis.

“For now, the impact of the pandemic may be most clearly seen, not in changes to plan participants’ mortality, nor in annuity prices, but rather in participants’ choices regarding their benefits, such as the election of lump sums over annuities,” the risk management firm said.

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