Which countries have the best and worst retirement systems?

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For the first time, there are now more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of five, a World Economic Forum report has found.

As a result, there are fewer young people to support the growing number of pensioners around the world, requiring many people to retire later than they planned.

The average expected length for retirement in OECD countries has remained mostly flat in recent years (staying put at around 20 years for women and 18 years for men). Still, lengths can vary widely thanks to factors such as a country’s retirement age or life expectancy.

Here is a selection of how retirement lengths stack up throughout the world.

25 years or more
New OECD statistics show that French pensioners spend the longest time in retirement out of all OECD countries: nearly 27 years for women, and just under 23 for men.

Spain, Austria, Belgium and Italy closely follow France. Female retirees in these countries enjoy retirements of 25 years or more.

20 years or less
South Koreans can expect around 10 fewer years of retirement than their French counterparts, with an average of around 16 years for women and 13 for men. Only Mexican men can expect a shorter retirement period than their Korean counterparts.

The typical retirement age in Korea is also higher: around 68 years for men and 67 for women. Korea is also expected to have one of the oldest populations among OECD countries. Around half of these workers will be 50 and older by 2050.

A widening gap
Though many will work longer than they plan, longer retirements can’t always bridge retirement savings gaps. Among nations with large populations or sizeable retirement savings markets, the gap stood at $70 trillion in 2015 and is poised to grow.

Unless key measures are taken that gap will widen. According to the World Economic Forum’s Investing in (and for) our Future 2019 report, that number is forecast to reach $400 trillion by 2050.

To bridge this gap across the OECD, personal pension savings will be key. The World Economic Forum’s report stresses that policy-makers, employers and asset managers need to explore incentivising contributions and optimise how these monies are invested.

In some countries, such as Singapore, this thinking has led to the creation of special accounts for housing or healthcare. In other countries, such as the UK, age requirements for products such as annuities have been lifted, promoting savings.

These and other creative savings approaches will be key in helping people achieve the best outcomes as retirements shorten and life expectancy lengthens.

This article was originally published on the World Economic Forum website.

Which country do you believe has the best retirement system in place?

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Written by Andrea Willige


Total Comments: 8
  1. 0

    “Which country do you believe has the best retirement system in place?”

    This is a very complex question because it involves a lot more than just money. What is also important is the percentage of pension against the cost of living in each country. The medical availability and costs as well as public housing are also important and must be factored into the mix to achieve a sensible answer.

  2. 0

    Funding for Pensions is NOT solely reliant on Income Tax.
    In Australia, Personal Income tax is less than 50% of total government revenues. And Pensioners still pay stamp duty, state taxes, and GST.
    Energy Aust has $30 billion in Virgin Is Tax haven, tax that.

    • 0

      Good luck because Energy Australia is now owned by the Chinese People’s Party and getting money out of communist regimes is tricky.

  3. 0

    Firstly the numbers don’t support an issue. In Australia the 2.4 million over 65 is balanced by 6.6 million under 18. The birth rate is 1.8% and that is pretty damn high if you can do maths.

    Best bet would be to work out why super funds are taking such huge amounts of funds when a good low cost index fund could return hundreds of thousands more at retirement time.

    Obviously these fund managers need to do better.

    The demographic argument though is a crock simply because the exponential equation means what looks like a teeny amount in % isn’t teeny at all.

    In fact we have had a 50% increase in population since 2000 and it’s not the over 65s causing that. Nor will they be the cause of the 20% increase again this decade.

    • 0

      Also count the unemployed youngsters not only the oldies over 65. We can help getting older but Govt could help get the unemployed into work – do not allow them to live in locations with no work. There will never be any industry in Nimbin and Mulumbimby apart from the illegal pot growing ones which are constantly raided. Needless to say they are set up by fully employed people – pig’s arse!

  4. 0

    Huh !!
    This article started with the premise
    “Which countries have the best and worst retirement systems”.
    Then it changed relevance and went to
    “expected length for retirement” ??



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