The rate of seniors collecting Social Security benefits has plunged to the lowest level in a decade, which Bloomberg suggests may be due to the disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths among the elderly.
According to the Social Security Administration, the number of people who took retirement benefits rose by just 900,000 to 46.4 million in March, the smallest year-over-year gain since April 2009.
More via Bloomberg:
While the Office of the Chief Actuary at the government agency said it is still too early to assess the impact from Covid-19, the year-over-year change appears to reflect excess deaths. About 447,000 people who died from the virus were 65 or older, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or about 80% of total deaths.
The number of Social Security beneficiaries has risen in the past decade as baby boomers — the large cohort born between 1946 and 1964 — started to reach retirement age. Usually, during economic downturns, many are forced into retirement due to job losses, which adds to the retiree pool.