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Australia’s ranking in the Global Retirement Index

Written and accurate as at: Mar 03, 2021 Current Stats & Facts

Various factors can influence your retirement wellbeing and security. Many of these factors are often out of your control, but some aren’t.

With this in mind, have you ever wondered how Australia ranks against other countries in terms of retirement wellbeing and security?

You can find out below.

2020 Global Retirement Index Report


The Global Retirement Index

Broadly speaking, the Global Retirement Index assesses and compares the level of retirement wellbeing and security in different countries via the collection and analysis of a range of source material.

Notably, the Global Retirement Index comprises 18 performance indicators, which are grouped into four thematic sub-indices that cover considerations pertinent to measuring retirement wellbeing and security:

  • health
  • quality of life
  • material wellbeing
  • finances in retirement

So how does Australia rank to other countries around the world in 2018?

In terms of the Global Retirement Index, and the top 25 ranked countries, Iceland ranked 1st, Australia ranked 7th, and France ranked 25th. Interestingly, Australia also ranked 7th in 2019 and 6th in 2018.

The Health Sub-Index

Broadly speaking, the Health Sub-Index tagline is ‘access to quality health services', and takes into account the following performance indicators:

  • non-insured health expenditure (analysis of out-of-pocket health expenditure)
  • health expenditure per capita (analysis of expenditure on health goods and services)
  • life expectancy (analysis of population health and the overall mortality level of a population)

In terms of the Health Sub-Index and the top 25 ranked countries, Luxemburg ranked 1st, Australia ranked 13th, and Portugal ranked 25th. Interestingly, Australia ranked 13th in 2017 and 12th in 2016.

Quality of Life Sub-Index

Broadly speaking, the Quality of Life Sub-Index tagline is ‘happiness and fulfilment in society, and a clean and safe environment’, and takes into account the following performance indicators:

  • air quality (analysis of exposure to particulate matter)
  • happiness (analysis of retiree quality of life evaluative responses)
  • biodiversity and habitat (analysis of the protection of the ecosystem)
  • water and sanitation (analysis of access to drinking water and sanitation)
  • environmental factors (analysis of CO2 emissions and renewable electricity generation)

In terms of the Quality of Life Sub-Index and the top 25 ranked countries, Norway ranked 1st, Australia ranked 10th, and Malta ranked 25th. Australia was ranked 11th in 2019 and 13th in 2018.

The Material Wellbeing Sub-Index

Broadly speaking, the Material Wellbeing Sub-Index tagline is ‘the material means to live comfortably in retirement’ and takes into account the following performance indicators:

In terms of the Material Wellbeing Sub-Index and the top 25 ranked countries, Iceland ranked 1st, Australia ranked 22nd, and New Zealand ranked 25th.  Australia ranked 24th in 2019 and 21st in 2018.

The Finances in Retirement Sub-Index

Broadly speaking, the Finances in Retirement Sub-Index tagline is ‘access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximise income’ and takes into account the following performance indicators:

  • inflation (analysis of purchasing power of savings and pensions)
  • real interest rate (analysis of returns on investments and savings)
  • tax pressure (analysis of the level of taxation and subsequent disposable income)
  • bank non-performing loans (analysis of the proportion of loans that are defaulted on)
  • governance (analysis of political stability, government effectiveness, regulatory quality)
  • government indebtedness analysis of soundness and sustainability of government finances)
  • old-age dependency (analysis of the number of older adults as a share of those of working age)

Regarding the Finances in Retirement Sub-Index and the top 25 ranked countries, Singapore ranked 1st, Australia ranked 3rd, and Cyprus ranked 25th. Australia was ranked 4th in 2019 and 2018.

Moving forward

The Global Retirement Index results are useful from both a domestic and international retirement policy planning perspective; however, they can also be useful when considering your own retirement planning.  Overall, Australia did very well, ranking 7th seventh out of the total of 44 assessed countries.  This improved overall score was due to improvements in both the Health (10th - due to improved life expectancy) and Quality of Life (15th - due to higher scores in both happiness and environmental factor indicators) sub-indices.

There is room for improvement given Australia has the sixth-highest score among all GRI countries for air quality, albeit the seventh-lowest score for environmental factors.  Further, Australia dropped in the Material Wellbeing (22nd) subindex because of lower-income equality and employment indicators.

Given above, when it comes to retirement wellbeing and security and securing a stable source of retirement income, it’s important to understand that there are many influential factors.

Many of these factors will be out of your control, but some won’t. Understanding your financial situation, goals and objectives, and having an appropriate retirement plan in place is a step in the right direction.

If there is anything in this article that you would like to discuss, or if you would like to know how you are tracking towards your goals and objectives, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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