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Australia ranks highly in Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - News - Invest Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Australia ranks highly in Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

20 October 2010

Australia’s position as a global centre of excellence in funds and pension management has been highlighted in the 2010 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index.

Victorian Financial Services Minister John Lenders launched the Index in Melbourne, the city where the innovative Australian superannuation model was developed and later translated into legislation by the Federal Government in 1991.

The Index, developed by the Melbourne-based Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) in collaboration with global consulting firm Mercer, examines private and public superannuation or pension models, with specific reference to the adequacy of benefits, the sustainability and the integrity of retirement systems.

Ranked fourth, Australia was in the highest-ranked nations on the basis of the quality of their superannuation or pension systems but it was revealed that as a nation there is still room for improvement.

The Index compares and rates a range of factors related to integrity, adequacy and sustainability of pension fund models using a ‘basket’ of countries comprising four from the Americas, six from Europe, and four from the Asia Pacific region.

The 14 countries considered in the Index are Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, UK and USA and for the first time Brazil, France and Switzerland.

ACFS Director, Professor Deborah Ralston, said “international comparative studies like this are an invaluable tool for policy makers and researchers as the Index provides a detailed analytical framework in which the relative merits of each system can be assessed.”

This second edition, the 2010 Index offers greater insight into this complex topic, with the inclusion of new countries and broader terms of reference. The Index is based on more than 40 indicators which reflect features that are desirable in all retirement income systems.

“Each retirement system is quite different as this study highlights, with different age pension safety nets, mandatory or voluntary employment related pensions and varying levels of incentive for private saving.

“Western societies with lower birth rates and increased longevity and are increasingly challenged to provide an adequate benefit to retirees and generally meet the needs of an aging population.

“Retirement systems tend to be best developed in the Scandinavian countries, and least well developed in Asia. In Asian countries retirement systems tend to be in their infancy as governments strive to develop public policies which accommodate changing family structures and urbanisation which impact on how the aged are cared for,” Professor Ralston said.

Victoria is a hub for funds managements and its financial services sector is currently the largest contributor to the State’s economy, providing about 11% of GSP, around 100,000 jobs and $33 billion to the Victorian economy.

The full 2010 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index report can be reviewed at
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