S'pore ranks top for retirement finances but low on retirement quality of life: Global study

European countries dominated the rankings.

Jason Fan| September 20, 05:14 PM

Singapore came in top among 44 countries in retirement finances in 2019, according to the latest edition of the Global Retirement Index (GRI) 2019 by Natixis Investment Managers.

However, Singapore also ranked among the worst for both retirees' quality of life and material well-being.

How countries are measured

In order to compare retirement security in various countries, the index uses 19 performance indicators, grouped into four thematic sub-indices.

The four thematic indices include: the material means to live comfortably in retirement; access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximise income; access to quality health services; and a clean and safe environment.

This is the seventh year that Natixis has produced the GRI.

Top in retirement finances

Singapore narrowly edged out New Zealand to take the top spot in the retirement finances sub-index, up from second place in 2018.

This measures the access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximise income.

The top 10 in this sub-index continue to remain largely unchanged, with nine countries in the top 10 also appearing in the top 10 list last year.

Large improvements in health

Singapore had the largest improvement in the health sub-index, moving up five spots to the 24th place, up from 29th in 2018.

This measures the access to quality health services.

According to the report, its main improvement is in the insured health expenditure indicator, which measures the level of expenditure in health that is not insured.

Despite improving in this category, Singapore still has the seventh-lowest score among all the GRI countries.

Luxembourg held the top spot for health in 2019, while Japan was top in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among the worst for quality of life and material well-being

Ranking 28th place overall, Singapore fell behind in the quality of life and material well-being indices, which measures access to a clean and safe environment and the material means to live comfortably in retirement respectively.

Denmark and Finland took the top two spots respectively in the quality of life sub-index, while Singapore dropped two places from 39th place in 2018 to 41st out of 44 nations this year. This was due to lower scores in happiness and environment factors.

In 2018, Singapore also fell to 39th place from 34th, due to declines in air quality, biodiversity and other environmental factors.

Singapore also did poorly in the material well-being sub-index, dropping to 32nd place from 29th last year.

This was attributed to a drop in income equality.

Iceland, Norway and the Czech Republic retain their first, second and third place rankings respectively from the previous year.

European countries continued to dominate the rankings, with 18 countries in the top 25, while the strongest performing Asian country was Japan, ranked 23rd.

Top image from Pixabay.