Australia slips in global ranking of retirement security

Australia is seen as an economically secure nation, one that can guarantee a certain standard of living for retirees. But according to new data, that reputation may be beginning to slip.

The 2023 Nataxis Global Retirement Index (GRI) reveals retirement security is improving in most developed countries – with one or two notable exceptions.

The GRI measures a suite of factors across 42 countries that contribute to retirement security – factors such as financial stability, healthcare access, climate, governance and overall happiness.

Australia has dropped two spots in the rankings this year, from fifth to seventh, on the back of rising interest rates and soaring living costs. The situation is much the same across the ditch, with New Zealand also dropping two spots from sixth to eighth.

The top five most secure countries to retire were all in Europe: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland and Luxembourg.

However it’s not all bad news. Both Australia and NZ are still inside the top 10 countries for retirement security, and the report says the situation has improved overall for virtually all countries across the board.

“Retirement security is looking better for most developed countries, with rising rates, easing inflation, low unemployment in key markets – and with the pandemic fading in the rearview mirror,” the report says.

“In fact, nearly all the countries represented in the 2023 Natixis Global Retirement Index received a higher overall score for the first time in a decade.”

Why the drop?

Australia has ranked inside the top 10 for the ninth consecutive year and the two-spot drop comes even though we received a higher overall score than last year (78 per cent vs 75 per cent in 2022).

The lower ranking is a result of even greater improvements in the highest-ranked countries, and probably a bit of stagnation here.

The data also shows that Australians are retiring later than their peers around the world. The median retirement age across all countries surveyed was 61, while in Australia the Age Pension age is now 67.

What did we do right?

We’ve stayed highly ranked primarily by achieving top 10 rankings in both the finances in retirement (third, up from fourth in 2022) and health (ninth, and in 2022) sub-categories. The nation saw quite a jump in material wellbeing, securing 13th place compared to 19th in 2022, and we retained 15th place for quality of life.

The most significant factor behind the improved ranking comes from bank non-performing loans, where Australia rises from 10th to fifth. These might seem unconnected to retirement security, but they contribute to the overall stability of the financial system.

Worried about inflation

But while the facts show the economic situation is improving for most retirees globally, the GRI showed that isn’t reflected in individual retiree confidence and optimism.

And it seems like inflation is the culprit behind the gloomy thinking. Australia’s inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), saw a one percentage point drop between the March and June quarters.

The inflation situation is also easing in other developed economies. But extensive negative media coverage of the opposite has people well and truly spooked. More than four in 10 survey respondents (42 per cent) said that inflation had drastically changed their vision of retirement.

For those still working, 68 per cent said that inflation has significantly hurt their ability to save for retirement.

Natixis IM country head Louise Watson says it’s concerning that Aussies are retiring later than other countries even though the superannuation system is world-class.

“This really shows how important it is for us to make our investments work as hard as possible while we are employed and well into retirement,” she says.

Do you feel your retirement is secure? Has the recent economic climate changed your plans? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: How to avoid big financial mistakes in retirement

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. Why is it concerning that Australians are retiring later than other countries? (L. Watson) Living longer and being healthier, then of course we should.
    Our Superannuation System is not world-class as only a few countries have a forced deduction scheme like ours with our pension scheme not supporting everyone with some dependent on the vagaries of the stock market i.e. if the Bank rate is low affecting dividends/Bank rates, then they can be below the pension level.
    Our system is designed to push you down to the Pension level with the seemed intention that you should have nothing to pass on to your children.
    Be very scared of the inheritance tax and looming increased taxes on your house.

  2. No wonder we slipped. Just got the notification of the new AP and got an increase of $9 a week each as a couple. No-one in their right mind would think to is a fair response to the out-of-control cost of living. Singles got an increase of $32.70 a fortnight and couples get an extra $24.70 a fortnight.

    Not sure what world those who dreamt up the numbers live in. It is bad enough they think a couple can live $240 a fortnight cheaper each than a single, but the increase is a joke and an insult. I’m not sure people don’t see it for what it is: elder abuse!

  3. Two words that appear in Ozjames comment.
    The Words OLDER ABUSE.
    These two words are appearing in our society on a regular basis especially in regard to the sick and vulnerable and the disadvantaged.
    The Aged are continually disrespected by the financial press on a daily basis.
    Little regard for the contributions or sacrifice that were necessary in a previous time.
    Men and Women born in the 40,50 and 60 ,s
    Governments showing little respect for seniors who in many cases don’t want a hand out just a hand up when times are tough.
    Without entering into the voice debate it crosses my mind expenditure spent,in particular by the Govt and the corporate sector in advertising and lobbying.
    I wonder how those indigenous groups who need good health and education now must be thinking about the use of that money.
    Just more ELDER ABUSE.
    Very sad.

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