Tags: US | Natixis | retirement | healthcare

Natixis: US Lags Developed Nations in Retirement Security, Ranks Just Ahead of Slovenia

By    |   Wednesday, 11 February 2015 02:03 PM

In terms of retirement security among its population, the United States is not ranked in the top 10 nations of the world — and barely even makes the top 20. Instead, the U.S. comes in at 19th, just ahead of Slovenia.

Much of Europe is ahead of America in the annual survey by Natixis Global Asset Management, along with Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

"As our analysis shows, the security of retirees' savings is influenced by a range of factors largely out of their control," said John Hailer, CEO for Natixis in the Americas and Asia. "We're seeing that individuals will have to shoulder more of the financial burden by saving and investing more effectively to ensure financial security in retirement."

Europe's strong pension financing and social programs help the nations there claim most of the top positions. Despite relatively heavy tax burdens, those countries were found to have high per-capita income levels and lower levels of income inequality.

"These countries currently lead the way, but could face headwinds as the citizens live longer in retirement and the cost of funding various programs continues to increase," said Hailer.

Even down at the number 19 slot, Natixis found the U.S. position in the rankings "may be fragile."

"The U.S. benefits from high per-capita income and spends more per capita on healthcare than any other nation. However, those resources don't reach all Americans. The U.S. has a relatively large gap in income equality, and Americans have access to fewer doctors and hospital beds than citizens in other developed nations."

The Natixis survey found the high level of government debt and an aging population could add up to trouble for America. "Over time, that means there could be less money for the public services, such as Medicare and Social Security, used by retirees and fewer workers to pay the taxes to finance those programs."

Even with expanded public health coverage via Obamacare, Natixis suggested more progress is needed. "The U.S. spends more per capita on medical care than any other nation; however, this has not yet translated into improved life expectancy."

The top 20 nations in the 2015 Natixis Global Retirement Index, in order, were: Switzerland, Norway, Australia, Iceland, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Canada, Finland, South Korea, Czech Republic, Belgium, Japan, France, United States and Slovenia.

In its coverage of the Natixis study, The Guardian was critical of President Obama's proposals to improve the U.S. retirement system in his latest budget blueprint.

"Instead of suggesting ways to dramatically improve access to alternative retirement savings vehicles, the president's proposals fiddled around the edges," the Guardian said.

The newspaper reported as many as 45 percent of households made up of adults of working age have no retirement savings whatsoever, often because their employer doesn't offer a 401(k) plan.

The National Institute on Retirement Security estimates 92 percent of U.S. households are financially unprepared for retirement, according to The Guardian.

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In terms of retirement security among its population, the United States is not ranked in the top 10 nations of the world — and barely even makes the top 20. Instead, the U.S. comes in at 19th, just ahead of Slovenia.
US, Natixis, retirement, healthcare
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2015-03-11
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 02:03 PM
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