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Denmark tops global retirement rankings, U.S. falls

Staff writer |
Denmark held the top spot for the third year running in Mercer's annual global retirement rankings.

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The Victorian Government of Australia and The Australian Centre for Financial Studies' sixth annual Melbourne Mercer Global Pensions Index compared the public and private components of 25 of the world's retirement systems.

Each country was awarded a score out of a possible 100, based on three factors: adequacy, sustainability and integrity. Last year's report only covered 20 countries.

Denmark came out top with a score of 82.4, up from 80.2 last year. Part of that increase could be attributed to a higher savings rate, said the report.

Following Denmark, the top-five ranked countries are Australia, the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland, according to the report.

The U.S. dropped to 13th place from 11th a year ago, and its score fell to 57.9 from 58.2. The report cited "a number of small changes" for the drop. The U.S. remained 11th out of the 20 countries studied last year, but was surpassed by new entrants Ireland and Finland.

In addition, the report cited changes that each of the 25 countries could make to improve their score. For the U.K., changes included raising the minimum pension for low-income pensioners and increasing the level of contributions to occupational plans.

America's ranking can be improved by raising the minimum pension for low-income retirees, adjusting the level of mandatory contributions, limiting access to funds prior to retirement, and improving the vesting benefits for all plan members, according to the report.

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