Top 5 retirement challenges worldwide.

Author:Heffes, Ellen M.

The fact that employers in 48 countries face common challenges in providing retirement, health and welfare benefits to employees underscores the need for global governance, notes Introduction to Benefit Plans Around the World: A Guide for Multinational Employers, a new Mercer survey of benefit programs worldwide.

Mercer, a global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.

The five top retirement challenges/trends identified include:

1 The concept of retirement is changing and many will be forced to postpone full retirement. Many governments are extending the retirement age, as an aging workforce means that the pool of retirees is growing faster than the number of productive workers who contribute to state or private-sector sponsored programs. This will require employers' programs for older employees to change significantly.


2 Defined contribution (DC) plans are becoming the norm. Many multinationals have explicitly stated a preference for establishing DC plans in the future. While several countries still have predominantly employer-sponsored defined benefit (DB) plans (South Korea, Philippines, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Israel, Netherlands), it is rare for an employer anywhere in the world to create a new one.

3 As more responsibility for retirement is...

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