Pensions 

England beats Sweden in pensions world cup

England beats Sweden in pensions world cup

From the 32 countries participating in this year’s World Cup, Australia has the people most adequately prepared for retirement, according to research from Scottish Widows.

The pension provider ranked the design and sustainability of pension systems in the 32 nations, according to 10 criteria, based on data from the World Bank, the CIA World Factbook data and Trading Economics database.

According to the index, Australia has the best system with England coming third behind second-placed Denmark.

Scottish Widows put each team through the tournament process, with the country placing higher in the index receiving a 1-0 win against its opposition.

England came top of Group G with maximum points and faced old rivals Germany in the quarter final.

The Three Lions got the better of the current champions, beating them in a World Cup football tournament match for the first time since 1966, the provider stated.

Country

Unweighted score

Ranking

Australia

84

1st

Denmark

98

2nd

England

102

3rd

Sweden

106

4th

France

110

5th

Germany

110

5th

Iceland

114

7th

Belgium

121

8th

Portugal

123

9th

Japan

129

10th

Switzerland

130

11th

Argentina

156

12th

Russia

158

13th

Brazil

160

14th

Saudi Arabia

160

14th

Spain

170

16th

Poland

172

17th

Egypt

176

18th

Croatia

181

19th

Korea

182

20th

Uruguay

186

21st

Iran

191

22nd

Costa Rica

199

23rd

Serbia

199

23rd

Nigeria

203

25th

Panama

203

25th

Colombia

204

27th

Mexico

206

28th

Peru

213

29th

Tunisia

224

30th

Morocco

226

31st

Senegal

245

32nd

According to Robert Cochran, retirement expert at Scottish Widows, the provider had a “lot of fun creating this index and seeing how each country performed through the tournament process”.

There was “a serious point behind this exercise, however, and that was to see how public pension systems perform around the world,” he added.

Mr Cochran argued that there is a great deal the UK can learn from how others are preparing for retirement.

He said: “Our winner Australia, for example, has had an auto-enrolment policy for 25 years - a journey the UK is currently only six years into.

“It takes time for these policies to have their desired effect but the impact is clear: today, Australians are among the best funded for retirement in the world.

"The results of the Pensions World Cup supports our call to scrap the £10,000 earnings threshold and make auto-enrolment inclusive for more workers.

“We’re also calling on the government to reduce the age at which workers are auto-enrolled from 22 to 18 more quickly than it has proposed.”

In its auto-enrolment review, published in December, the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) announced changes to the current system, but these are only coming to effect in the mid-2020s.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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