Top 10 Countries for Retirement Security

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  • 03 mins 27 secs
The 2021 Natixis Global Retirement Index reveals which countries top the list for retirement security.

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Retirement security presents one of the biggest sustainability issues facing society today.

From material wellbeing to health, finances in retirement, and quality of life, there are many factors that can determine if individuals will be able to live with dignity in the years after work.

Many of these issues have been exacerbated by the global pandemic.

For individuals, the outlook is clouded. In fact, in our recent survey of investors in 24 countries, 40% of those surveyed said it will take a miracle for them to retire securely.

I’m Dave Goodsell, executive director of the Natixis Center for Investor Insight.

The 2021 Natixis Global Retirement Index demonstrates just how difficult balancing these factors can be for developed and developing countries.

Last year, we saw that the key to achieving retirement security is balance. Our recent survey reveals how our top 10 countries have helped achieve that balance.

Iceland, Switzerland and Norway maintained their top three standing, respectively.

Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia remain in the next 4 spots, albeit with lower scores compared to last year.

Germany moves up 2 spots to 8th overall, and Canada moves down 2 spots to 10th.

10 Canada

Canada moves down 2 spots to tenth place overall, as tax pressure, old-age dependency, and interest rates had a negative impact for Finance indicators.

9 Denmark

Denmark remains in 9th place overall, by achieving slightly higher scores in the Finances and Material Wellbeing indices, thanks to improving income equality and income per capita.

8 Germany

Germany moves up 2 spots this year to 8th overall, placing higher in the Material Wellbeing index, as seen with their #4 score for employment. It also ranked higher in the Health and Quality of Life indices, landing in the top 10 in health expenditure per capita and insured health expenditure.

7 Australia

Australia remains in 7th place this year, with a lower score due to declines in key measures of the Finances index, including tax pressure and increasing old-age dependency.

6 New Zealand

Despite slightly lower scores in the Finances index, New Zealand remains in the same place as last year, ranking 6th overall. It did bring in higher scores for income equality and income per capita.

5 Netherlands

Netherlands holds its spot in 5th place, in part due to top 10 placement in health expenditure per capita, as well as top 10 rankings in Material Wellbeing indicators, including 1st in unemployment.

4 Ireland

Ireland remains in 4th place. Even though it has a slightly lower overall score than last year, it moves into the top 10 for the Material Wellbeing index, with improvements in income equality and income per capita.

Our perennial top 3 remain unchanged this year.

3 Norway

Norway remains in 3rd place overall, placing in the top 10 in all indicators for Material Wellbeing. It has multiple top 10 placements, including environmental factors, air quality, water and sanitation, and happiness sub-indices.

2 Switzerland

Switzerland holds steady year over year in 2nd place, albeit with lower scores in all four sub-indices. Most significantly, it had the largest slide in the Finances index, notably with lower scores for tax pressure, bank nonperforming loans, interest rate, old-age dependency, and governance.

1 Iceland

Iceland remains in 1st place for 3 years in a row, with a higher score than last year due to increases in the Material Wellbeing index, where it took first, as well as top 10 in 3 out of 5 indicators for the Quality of Life index.

What we do know for certain is that individuals, employers, and policy makers will need to find the right balance that ensures people will be able to achieve retirement security for the long term.


To learn more about the state of global retirement security in 2021 – and find out how your country ranks – we invite you to download our full report.


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