An Ideal Retirement System

An Ideal Retirement System

An Ideal Retirement System by CFA Institute

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 ageing populations. The major causes of this demographic shift are declining birth rates and increasing longevity. In short, this means that a growing proportion of every country’s population will be in retirement and therefore not directly contributing to the economy’s production. Yet at the same time, most retirees are looking to maintain their pre-retirement living standard and to have access to quality medical and aged care services in their later years.

Inevitably this is placing financial pressure on current retirement systems (whether they be in the public or private sector), whilst the growing importance of the aged population also means there is increasing political pressures for these services to be provided. While these demographic effects have been evident for some years, it is only in recent times that many countries have appreciated the significance of them. Although the current extent of these changes varies between countries due to local factors, the impending retirement of the baby boomers in many developed economies has highlighted the problem.

Significant changes will be needed as an increasing proportion of the population in the future will have retired from employment and be relying on their savings and/or the government. In light of this challenge, is there an ideal retirement system to respond to these problems and, at the same time, deliver an outcome that provides adequate benefits that can be sustained over the longer term and is trusted by the community?

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