Canada has risen one spot, to No. 8, on a list of the countries that provide the best retirement security.

The annual list, from Natixis Investment Managers, found Canada ranked higher in the finances and material well-being sub-indexes, decreased in quality of life and held steady in health. The report also identified three global risks weighing on retirees, policymakers and long-term global sustainability — low interest rates, longer lifespans and the high cost of climate change.

The index calculates the relative performance for 44 countries, resulting in a composite score that provides a comparative tool for evaluating retirement security globally.

Read: Canada rises two spots in global retirement index: report

“Meeting the needs of today’s retirees while preserving retirement security for future generations continues to be one of the most pressing challenges for economies around the globe,” said Jean Raby, chief executive officer at Natixis, in a press release. “We created the Natixis global retirement index to help facilitate a candid conversation about what steps need to be taken to ensure retirement security on a global scale.”

This year’s report showed that Western Europe continues to lead as a region, with 15 countries finishing in the top 25 for the third year in a row. The Nordic countries continue to perform strongly in the top 10, including Iceland (No. 1), Norway (No. 3), Sweden (No. 6) and Denmark (No. 7). Ireland jumped from No. 14 to No. 4 due to an improved score in the health sub-index driven primarily by higher per capita health spending.

Japan, at No. 23, had the lowest score among global reporting countries for old-age dependency. It has the highest life expectancy, but one of the lowest fertility rates among developed countries.

Read: Canada slides down a spot in global retirement security ranking

Canada’s overall score improved in both the material well-being and health sub-indexes compared to last year, but scored lower in quality of life and finances. The country maintained its position in the top 10 in the finance category and marked gains in both the non-performing bank loans and governance indicators. However, lower scores for tax pressure and interest rates put its performance at risk.

Canada’s quality of life performance was affected by lower scores for environmental factors and the happiness indicator, which evaluates the quality of retirees’ current lives.

“Retirement security is a complex, multi-dimensional issue and there will be no single solution to the problem of ensuring that, after a life of work, individuals can live with dignity in retirement,” said Dave Goodsell, executive director of the Natixis Center for Investor Insight. “With the 2019 global retirement index it is our goal to initiate a dialogue with policymakers, employers, individuals and the financial industry about how to best address the needs of retirees for generations to come.”

Read: How does Canada’s public pension system measure up globally?

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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