Pensions ranked: Europe’s best countries for retirement shared – where does the UK place? | Personal Finance | Finance

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Pension income and retirements can be impacted by a whole range of economic and societal issues and as such, a new report by Blacktower Financial Management Group narrowed down where retirees should look for the best outcomes. In examining crime rates, cost of living, life expectancy, property prices, and population ages, it found both the best and worst countries for retirement.

In their latest update, Blacktower Financial Management Group found that Finland is the best European country for retirement in 2021.

Belarus is the worst country and the UK “fell short of the mark” at it ranked 24th on the index.

Finland was quickly followed by Spain, a popular retirement location for UK expats, and Blacktower Financial Management Group broke down what placed these two countries in the top position: “The laid-back Finnish atmosphere and magic of the northern lights see many retirees going ‘off-grid’ to enjoy their well-deserved retirement.

“With breath-taking views, fresh lakes, vast forests, and quaint cities; it is no surprise that Finland draws millions of retirees to their border each year.

“Second in the rankings is the country of Spain.

READ MORE: Council tax: England’s richest areas have lowest council tax bills

Pension rankings were examined in mid-April through a House of Commons Library Briefing Paper written by Roderick McInnes.

This report compared the pension systems among UK, EU and OECD savers and within this report, the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index was utilised.

This index annually cross-examines the pension systems of 39 countries, utilising more than 50 indicators.

The latest report placed the UK in 15th place, achieving an overall score of 64.9 (out of 100) with a corresponding grading of C+.

Pension provision and general planning remains an issue in the UK and the financial regulator has made some efforts to encourage savers to take their retirements seriously.

In early May, the FCA proposed new rules to require pension providers to “nudge” consumers to Pension Wise, in an effort to benefit from guidance before pensions are accessed.

Currently, pension providers are required to “signpost” consumers to Pension Wise guidance but take up remains low.

As such, savers are to be pushed harder on this as Sheldon Mills, the Executive Director of Consumers and Competition at the FCA, explained: “Pension Wise is a great service which helps people to understand their options when accessing their pension savings.

“We know that when people use Pension Wise they are happy with the service and find it helpful. However, few people are choosing to attend a guidance appointment.

“Our proposals will help to ensure that consumers get more information about the service, are further encouraged to use it and can have an appointment booked for them there and then.”

Becky O’Connor, the Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor, welcomed this news, as she remarked on how British savers need help with their pension planning: “Pension Wise is a free, impartial service – why not use it? Retirement planning is not up there on the list of fun ways to spend time, so we need all the help we can get when it comes to getting it sorted – when it comes to pensions, sometimes it needs to be a shove rather than a gentle nudge.

“Our Great British Retirement Survey last year suggested that only 14 percent of consumers were using this service, only marginally ahead of getting advice from friends and family (11 percent). Some 36 percent of respondents said they do their own research, and 28 percent use the financial press. But none of this needs to be at the expense of using a free, government backed service as well.”



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