Ireland’s pension system rises in global ranking, Netherlands leads

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In the 2023 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index, Ireland’s retirement system has moved up to the 13th position from 14th last year among 47 countries. The index, co-developed by Mercer and Australia’s Monash Centre for Financial Studies, evaluates pension systems based on integrity, adequacy, and sustainability.

Ireland’s improvement was noted on Tuesday, with an index value that has consistently risen over the past three years, moving from 70.0 in 2022 to 70.2 in 2023. The country’s pension system comprises a basic social security scheme, a means-tested benefit for those lacking sufficient insurance coverage, and voluntary occupational and personal pension schemes providing supplementary income during retirement.

Despite Ireland’s progress, it still ranked below Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK but outperformed Belgium, Portugal, Germany, and France.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands topped the Global Pension Index with a score of 85, followed by Iceland and Denmark. This achievement comes despite an impending major reform of its pension system from collective to individual funds. The reform aims to sustain high-quality benefits for retirees amid global pension challenges such as aging populations and economic factors including inflation and rising interest rates.

CFA Institute underscored these challenges as increasing the importance of individual retirement planning. The study covered 47 pension systems representing 64% of the world’s population and identified Argentina as having the worst-performing pension system.

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