But as noted in a press release announcing the study, Allianz said a big challenge for the U.S. retirement system isn’t the pension system itself but that too many people are behind the eight ball before they reach retirement, and that’s a condition that can’t be fixed by the pension system.

In ascending order, the bottom five nations—with scores ranging from 5.45 to 4.78—are Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

In its report, Allianz asked the million-dollar question: What would a perfect pension system look like?

It concludes there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but some components could make a pension system more “demography proof.” Among them:

• All people in retirement age, and at least 75% of the working-age population, would be covered by the pension system.

• The retirement age would be adjusted to changes in life expectancy to ensure the ratio of working life to time spent in retirement remains at least stable in the long-run.

• The benefit level provided by public pensions (e.g., Social Security in the U.S.) would range between at least 40% and 60% of the average gross wage. Benefit levels would take into account further developments in life expectancy.

• Make available the necessary preconditions—such as access to financial services—to establish and grow financial assets. In all top ten countries in its ranking, Allianz said, 99% of the population ages 15 and older had an account at a financial institution. 

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