How Does The State Pension Rank Where You Live?

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A major review of international state pension schemes claims some risk creating unfairness between generations.

Pension experts ranked pensions in 30 countries to come up with the results.

Denmark came out on top for the sixth year in a row, while Japan, Austria, Italy, and France were held as examples of developed economies whose pension systems do not seem sustainable for supporting current and future generations in their old age

The rankings look at sustainability, adequacy and integrity of state pensions.

Jacques Goulet, president of health and wealth at Mercer, stresses the need for countries to address sustainability when considering pension reform.

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Not all doom and gloom

“Increasing life expectancies and low investment returns are having significant long-term impacts on the ability of many systems around the world to deliver adequate retirement benefits both now and into the future,” he said.

“These pressures have alerted policy makers to the growing importance of intergenerational equity issues.”

Author of the report and senior partner at Mercer, Dr David Knox, says it’s not all doom and gloom and every country can act to move towards a better pension system.

“The primary objective is to benchmark each country’s retirement income system, so we can learn to understand what best practice may look like, both now and into the future,” he said.

“From our research, it is clear which countries are leading the way in providing sustainable pension systems with adequate benefits and what others can learn from them to improve.

How international state pensions rate

Country Score Adequacy Sustainability Integrity
Argentina 38.8 42.4 33.1 41.2
Australia 77.1 75.3 73.0 85.7
Austria 53.1 67.6 19.9 76.4
Brazil 54.8 67.8 29.2 70.0
Canada 66.8 69.9 55.4 77.7
Chile 67.3 58.0 69.1 79.7
China 46.5 54.2 38.2 46.0
Colombia 61.7 66.4 49.9 70.7
Denmark 78.9 76.5 79.8 81.3
Finland 72.3 70.2 61.3 91.0
France 59.6 80.4 38.6 55.8
Germany 63.5 76.5 40.9 74.0
India 44.9 39.5 43.8 55.1
Indonesia 49.9 40.1 49.3 66.4
Ireland 65.8 77.9 43.9 77.2
Italy 50.8 66.2 16.4 74.3
Japan 43.5 48.0 26.0 60.7
South Korea 47.1 46.9 46.8 47.9
Malaysia 57.7 42.3 61.2 77.6
Mexico 45.1 38.5 55.9 40.5
Netherlands 78.8 78.0 73.5 87.5
New Zealand 67.4 66.2 61.5 77.8
Norway 74.7 77.0 61.0 90.3
Poland 55.1 58.1 43.1 67.1
Singapore 69.4 65.2 66.2 80.7
South Africa 48.9 34.0 45.7 77.1
Sweden 72.0 67.7 71.0 80.3
Switzerland 67.6 60.2 64.7 83.3
UK 61.4 58.2 49.4 83.5
USA 57.8 57.0 57.1 60.1
Total 59.94 60.9 50.8 71.2

Source: Melbourne Mercer

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