Mercer and the CFA Institute released its 14th annual Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index (MCGPI) on October 11 that comprises a list of 44 countries with the best and worst pension system in the world. According to the report, Iceland’s retirement income system has once again topped the list, while Thailand has been ranked lowest. The MCGPI benchmarks retirement income systems around the world, highlighting some shortcomings in each system, and suggests possible areas of reform. Let's take a look at the top five and lowest five countries and their pension system.
No 1 | Iceland | The country has the best pension system in the world. The retirement income system here comprises a basic state pension and a pension supplement (both of which are income-tested according to different rules); mandatory occupational private pension schemes with contributions from both employers and employees; and voluntary personal pensions. The index value for Iceland increased slightly from 84.2 in 2021 to 84.7 in 2022, primarily due to an increase in the net replacement rates.
No 2 | The Netherlands | The Dutch nation's retirement income system comprises a flat-rate public pension and quasi-mandatory earnings-related occupational pension schemes linked to industrial agreements. The Dutch index value of the country increased from 83.5 in 2021 to 84.6 in 2022, primarily due to the revised scoring.
No 3 | Denmark | The country's retirement income system comprises a public pension scheme that provides a basic pension, a means-tested supplementary pension benefit, a fully funded DC scheme providing lifelong pensions and mandatory occupational DC schemes. The Danish index value remained unchanged at 82.0.
No 4 | Israel | The Middle Eastern country has bagged the fourth position here. Its retirement income system comprises a universal state pension with an income-tested supplement and private pensions with compulsory employer and employee contributions. Since 2008, there has been a requirement to take a minimum annuity. The Israeli index value increased from 77.1 in 2021 to 79.8 in 2022, primarily due to an increase in the level of assets and the revised scoring.
No 5 | Finland | Taking the 5th spot is Finland. The country's retirement income system consists of a basic state pension, which is income-tested, and a range of statutory earnings-related schemes. The Finnish index value increased from 73.3 in 2021 to 77.2 in 2022, primarily due to an increase in social assistance and the revised scoring.
No 40 | Turkey's retirement system is the fifth lowest in the world. It comprises an income-tested public pension and an earnings-related public scheme. People can join voluntary private pension systems to supplement their income in retirement, but coverage is currently low. There are also auto-enrollment plans for which the employee contribution is mandatory, but with the right to opt out at any time. The Turkish index value decreased slightly from 45.8 in 2020 to 45.3 in 2022 due to several minor changes.
No 41 | India | The country has the forth-lowest retirement income system in the world , according to the report. It comprises an earnings-related employee pension scheme, a DC employee provident fund (EPFO) and supplementary employer-managed pension schemes, which are largely DC in nature. Government schemes have been launched as part of the universal social security program aimed at benefiting the unorganized sector. The Indian index value increased from 43.3 in 2021 to 44.4 in 2022, primarily due to an increase in the net replacement rates and the revised scoring.
No 42 | Argentina | Ranked as third lowest, has a retirement income system that is composed of a pay-as-you-go social security system (comprising a basic pension and an earnings-related benefit) together with voluntary occupational corporate and individual pension plans that may be offered through employer book reserves, insurance companies or pension trusts. The Argentinian index value increased from 41.5 in 2021 to 43.3 in 2022, primarily due to the revised scoring for the minimum pension and increased private pension coverage.
No 43 | The Philippines, ranked as second lowest, has a retirement income system comprising of a small basic pension and an earnings-related social security system. Members can receive a lifetime pension if they have contributed for a minimum of 120 months. If this requirement is not met, the retiree will receive a lump sum upon retirement equal to the member and employer contributions, plus interest.
No 44 | Thailand ranks the lowest in the world. The retirement income system here comprises an old-age pension, a social security fund for private-sector employees in the formal sectors, voluntary employer-sponsored DC plans and individual savings products. The Thai index value increased from 40.6 in 2021 to 41.7 in 2022, primarily due to higher net replacement rates.