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How the United State Stacks Up Against Other Countries in Retirement

When studying retirement in other countries it was found that the United State ranks number 6. It is actually not something worth bragging about but the United States at least is able to claim that it retirement income system is better than at least 5 other countries according to a study that ranked the retirement income in 11 countries.

Other countries

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index has measured both public and private pension systems in other countries based on:

  • Adequacy
  • Sustainability
  • Integrity

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Of the countries studied the Netherlands is number 1, followed by:

  • Australia
  • Sweden
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Chile is number 7 on the list, followed by Singapore, Germany, China and Japan.

What US needs to change?

So, what would the United States need to do to become number 1? According to Mercer, some changes could improve the United States retirement-income system. It would help with the following:

  • Up the minimum pension for pensioners for low-income
  • Adjust the level of required contributions to rise the net replacement for median-income earners
  • Introduce a minimum age of access so that it is clear benefits are conserved for retirement
  • Introduce a requirement that a part of the retirement benefit has to be taken as an stream of income

Retirement planning must be a requirement for all entering the work force for the first time.


Not all these changes can be put into place since increasing Social Security or requiring some minimal level of employer contribution is politically divisive and even small support would probably not be realistic. The United States is still arguing about establishing a better healthcare safety net. Remember most of these other countries already provide free healthcare for all their citizens.


One area that could help is technology for retirees. If all Americans knew about the technologies involving computer systems, working on the computer from home part time could be another income stream.


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