Canada rose to No. 12 in retirement security, up two places from last year, according to the 2015 Natixis Global Retirement Index.

“Retirement security is influenced by many factors that are largely out of control of retirees,” says John Hailer, president and CEO for Natixis Global Asset Management in the Americas and Asia. “In Canada, the recent strength of the economy boosted its standing in the world rankings.”

However, he adds that individual investors still need to save and invest as effectively as possible to guard against any big economic or policy changes.

Read: Canada’s ranking in global retirement system index drops

Canada scored well in per capita healthcare spending and insurance coverage, the strength of its financial institutions, and per capita income and income equality, the Natixis study showed. Canada benefited from an economy that performed better in 2014 than most developed countries, growing by 2.4%. Real GDP is forecast to increase by 2.1% this year and by 2.4% in 2016, according to statistics from the Bank of Canada.

Canada, along with other advanced nations, has an aging population. One in six Canadians was age 65 or older last year; by 2051, one in four Canadians will be in that age bracket. That factor could make it harder for their governments to continue providing the same level of social services for retirees. Canada also has deep government debt, the study notes.

Like Canada, the world’s top-ranked countries benefited from well-developed and growing industrialized economies with strong financial systems and regulations, broad access to healthcare, and substantial public investment in infrastructure and technology. Longevity and increasing demand for social services and other factors could put pressure on financing in the future in these countries.

Read: Canada’s retirement income system ranks high

The index also shows the following:

  • A repeat leader: Switzerland retained its No. 1 ranking because of its high per capita income, strong financial institutions and environment. Norway again finished second.
  • Several big moves: Iceland jumped seven slots, to No. 4, because the nation’s financial system continued to strengthen after its banking crisis. The Netherlands rose to No. 5 from No. 13 on its improved financial system, while Japan’s fiscal reforms and healthcare improvements helped it move to No. 17 from No. 27.
  • Savings programs work: Australia (No. 3) and New Zealand (No. 10) are the two non-European countries in the top 10, in large part because of mandatory retirement savings programs.
  • U.S. ranks 19th for the third straight year: The U.S. got strong grades for its high income and per capita healthcare spending (which is the highest in the world). The study noted that the U.S. has a relatively large gap in income equality, and Americans have access to fewer doctors and hospital beds than citizens in other developed nations.

“While these countries are world leaders, they could come under pressure,” Hailer says. “Their citizens are living longer in retirement, and the cost of financing social programs will continue to rise without some type of reform.”

The Natixis Global Retirement Index is based on an analysis of 20 key trends across four broad categories: health, material well-being, finances and quality of life. Together, these trends provide a measure of the life conditions and well-being expected by retirees and near-retirees.

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