This put the two nations way ahead of the average score of 60.5 and, of course, of the last placed nation, Argentina, which scored only 39.2.
David Knox, who authored the Mercer report said it highlighted the difficulty in finding a balance between “what you offer and how long you can offer it”.
This is certainly true of most nations’ mainstream private pensions, with many predicting that they will struggle to maintain the balance over the long-term in the face of ageing populations and other economic pressures.
Italy, Austria and Spain — all of which scored high for adequacy but low for sustainability – are among the nations most likely to feel the pressure soon.
The study defined “adequacy” as being based on the level of tax flexibility, benefits, growth assets, system design and savings provided by a pension. “Sustainability” was defined on the basis of factors such as coverage, contributions, growth and debt. “Integrity” was defined on the basis of measures including regulation, costs, governance, protection and communication.
And this is not the first time that the Netherlands has topped the list – it ranked no. 1 seven years ago.
The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index is published by the Australian Centre for Financial Studies in collaboration with Mercer and the State Government of Victoria. The UK’s pension system was ranked in 15th place.
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