Study shows Australia, the Netherlands and Canada are better than U.S. in helping workers prepare financially for retirement.
There are countries in the world that assist their older residents with their retirement finances than what the United States offers, and the National Institute on Retirement Security (www.nirsonline.org) is pointing out some examples.
Australia, the Netherlands and Canada are prime examples of countries that provide more support for residents so that they are better prepared financially for their retirement period, according to the NIRS, which released is study in August 2013.
As stated in the NIRS study brief, the United States retirement community is struggling because of low rates of retirement plan coverage and the shift from a pension benefit from employers to defined contribution accounts funded primarily by employees, leading to a majority of retirement funding risk being borne by the worker.
“Other advanced countries have endeavored to both meet these challenges and provide relatively broad retirement income security through their combined social security and employer-sponsored retirement systems,’’ the report states.
Examples of how the three countries better serve their retirement community than the United States from a financial standpoint:
Australia – The country Down Under has a universal worker retirement system called the Superannuation Guarantee. It is a defined contribution program that is nearly universal for all workers and has a high mandatory employer contribution that is now a gross 9 percent of pay and will rise to a gross 12 percent of pay by 2019. In terms of protection, Australia is setting standards for default funds, fee disclosure and financial advice to further assist retirees and future retirees.
Canada - Canada’s largest contribution to retiree finances is its two-part social security system that replaces over 70 percent of lifetime average wage earnings for low income workers and about 50 percent of lifetime average wage earnings for median-income workers. It also has a voluntary pension-c entered employer-sponsored retirement program with lower coverage than Australia’s or the Dutch system. In both Canada and the Netherlands, employee contributions to both defined contribution and defined benefit (pension) plans are tax deductible.
Netherlands – Like Australia, the Netherlands has a universal system that adds benefits beyond the social security system. The pension-centered system, funded primarily by employers, provides the highest income replacement rate among wealthy nations in the world. The laws are changing to shift more risk to employees through the use of hybrid contribution plans, but those risks are borne as a group within a company, not as individuals. Like Canada, pension contributions are tax deductible.
According to the NIRS, the combined income replacement from social security and mandatory workplace plans in the Netherlands is 89 percent for a median worker, and over 50 percent in Australians. In the United States, it is 42 percent.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.