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Pensions around the world

As someone who monitors the news on a daily basis, I often come across stories about retirement systems in other countries. Below are just a few of the recent articles that I thought were interesting. What can we learn from retirement income policies in other countries?

Canada is studying ways to improve its retirement income system. Nearly 11 million of Canada's 17 million workers don't have a workplace pension plan. Maybe that's why Canada's federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says Canadians aren't saving enough for retirement.  I guess we're not the only ones!

Global Pensions reports on the implementation of a package of reforms meant to strengthen the social safety net for the U.K.'s retirees. Among the provisions set to take effect in 2012 is the new National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), a defined contribution plan meant to help workers save for retirement. NEST requires contributions from both employers and employees, with some tax relief from the government. Workers who don't have a comparable pension plan through their employer will be automatically enrolled.

Interestingly, Germans on average make less money per capita than Americans, yet they save more than three times as much. Who woulda thunk it? Learn more about how Germans differ from Americans in their approach towards retirement savings. 

Over in Australia, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, a trade group that represents the majority of the nation's pension funds, has called for an increase in the required employer contribution to workers' pension plans from nine to 12 percent.

Since 2002, companies in Japan have been able to cut benefits for retirees, but only six have tried to do so. Recently, however, two large Japanese companies have made moves to cut benefits. It's a good thing that any cuts must be supported by a two-thirds majority of a company's retirees.

To learn more about pensions and retirement savings plans around the world, check out the International Pensions section of our web site.

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