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2021 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index

Delivering the world’s most comprehensive comparison of 43 retirement income systems against more than 50 indicators and benchmarks and on three sub-indices: Adequacy, Sustainability, and Integrity.

2021 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index

Interactive report on Mercer.com

The provision of financial security in retirement is critical for both individuals and societies as most countries are now grappling with the social, economic and financial effects of aging populations. During 2020 and 2021 many of these issues were accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is not only ageing populations and the effects of the coronavirus that represent challenges for pension systems around the world. The current economic environment with reduced wage growth, historically low interest rates and reduced investment returns in many asset classes are placing additional financial pressures on existing retirement income systems.

This edition of the Index compares 43 retirement income systems, highlighting both the considerable diversity and the positive features present in many systems. The study also confirms that no pension system is perfect and that every system has some shortcomings. In that respect it is hoped this study will act as a stimulus for governments and policymakers around the world to review retirement income systems so that the outcomes for future retirees can be improved.

At CFA Institute, our mission is to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society. In particular, the closing words – “the ultimate benefit of society” – speak directly to our desire to increase the positive real-world impact of investment management. Retirement systems that meet the adequacy, sustainability, and integrity standards of the index contribute to the health of the financial system. Now, more than ever before, it is important to understand the features of the better pension systems.