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America receives C+ retirement rating: US seniors are less financially secure than those in Canada, Australia and most of Europe, global index shows

America is trailing behind much of Europe, Asia and New Zealand in its retirement preparedness, a new study has found.

America receives C+ retirement rating: US seniors are less financially secure than those in Canada, Australia and most of Europe, global index shows

 

America is trailing behind Australia, Canada and much of Europe in its retirement preparedness, a new study has found.

The US came in 22nd out of 47 countries in the latest Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index and received a C+ rating – or a ’63’ score – by researchers.

Its poor ranking was driven by a lack of retirement planning among blue collar workers, researchers noted.

While most middle-income earners benefit from workplace 401(K) structures, lower paid employees fall behind in savings for their twilight years.

David Knox, a senior partner at Mercer who authored the report, told the Wall Street Journal: ‘In the U.S., there’s good coverage of white-collar workers through employer systems. But what about the gig workers? What about the blue-collar workers?’

America is trailing behind much of Europe, Asia and New Zealand in its retirement preparedness, according to the 2023 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index

America is trailing behind much of Europe, Asia and New Zealand in its retirement preparedness, according to the 2023 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index

What’s more, Americans have more freedom to withdraw their savings early than in other countries. A recent report by Bank of America warned this is an option workers are increasingly taking to cope with rising living costs.

The Mercer report noted that the US could increase its rating in several ways including: raising the minimum pension for low-income pensioners, improving the benefits for all plan members, limiting access to funds before retirement and introducing a requirement that part of the retirement benefit be taken as income.

The study assessed a host of factors including: adequacy, sustainability and integrity. ‘Adequacy’ rankings looked at benefits received, system designs, government support and growth assets while the other two focused on operating costs, government debt and economic growth in each country.

At the top of the list ranked The Netherlands where residents benefit from both private and public pension accounts.

The public account is a flat rate to all retirees which is calculated by how long they have lived and worked in the country.

On top of that there is a partially mandatory requirement for all employers to guarantee a pension to their workers. And individuals can contribute to their plans with their own investments.

Rampant inflation and higher interest rates are eroding workers' opportunities to save for their twilight years - sparking fears of a nationwide 'retirement crisis'

Rampant inflation and higher interest rates are eroding workers’ opportunities to save for their twilight years – sparking fears of a nationwide ‘retirement crisis’

Iceland came out in second place as workers here benefit from a basic state pension and a pension supplement. It is also mandatory for businesses to offer private schemes which offers both employee and employer contributions.

In the US, rampant inflation and higher interest rates are eroding workers’ opportunities to save for their twilight years – sparking fears of a nationwide ‘retirement crisis.’

A separate study published this week showed more than half of Americans felt ‘behind’ on their later life savings. 

Around one-quarter of Americans had not made retirement contributions in at least a year, according to the study by personal finance website Bankrate.

Meanwhile one in three said they felt ‘significantly behind on their retirement savings.’

America receives C+ retirement rating: US seniors are less financially secure than those in Canada, Australia and most of Europe, global index shows

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