European countries top global retirement index for third year

Three European countries, Iceland, Switzerland and Norway, have come out top on a global retirement index (GRI) for the third consecutive year.

Natixis Investment Managers GRI saw Iceland and Switzerland top the chart with a score of 82 per cent each, following by Norway with a score of 80 per cent. In addition, Ireland has increased its overall score this year to 79 per cent, compared to 77 per cent in 2019, moving up one spot to fourth place, following by the Netherlands in fifth place, moving up five places.

However, other European countries did not perform so well in this year’s GRI. For example, Sweden fell from sixth place in 2019 to 14th this year due to poorer performances in the material wellbeing and finances in retirement sub-indices.

The UK saw a decline in its ranking for the third successive year, falling one place to 17th mainly due to declines in the material wellbeing and finances in retirement sub-indices, where the UK ranked 19th and 29th respectively.

The GRI, which is developed by Natixis Investment Managers and CoreData Research, examines the factors that drive retirement security globally, providing a comparison tool for best practice in retirement policy. The GRI scores are split into health, finances in retirement, quality of life and material wellbeing sub-indices to create an overall score for each of the 44 countries included in the index.

Commenting, Natixis Investment Managers CEO, Jean Raby, said: “Balancing the needs of current and future retirees with other public policy demands has long been one of the most intractable issues for nations around the world, and the global pandemic and its economic fallout have only compounded the challenge.

“Individuals, employers, institutions, policymakers and asset managers all have an important role to play in addressing these issues, and we believe the 2020 Global Retirement Index can help advance the dialog by providing a clear and consistent picture of where each economy stands on a range of key indicators.”

At a regional level, North America has the highest overall GRI score for the fifth year in a row, with 73 per cent. It ranks first for the material wellbeing (64%) and finances in retirement (71 per cent) sub-indexes and second for quality of life (72 per cent).

This is closely followed by Western Europe, with an overall score of 70 per cent and finishing first or second in all sub-indices except finances, where it ranks fifth. The finances in retirement sub-index is one area where countries in Western Europe do not perform strongly compared to the other sub-indices, as the demographic profile, with an ageing population in many cases, often means they score badly on the old-age dependency indicator

Eastern Europe and Central Asia ranked third overall, with a score of 51 per cent, materially lower than North America and Western Europe. It scores most highly on finances in retirement index (54 per cent), followed by health (52 per cent), material wellbeing (51 per cent) and quality of life (48 per cent).

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