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Financial Wellness

U.S. moves up 1 spot in Natixis retirement security index

Switzerland, Iceland and Norway top the ranking

The U.S. ranked 16th globally in retirement security, up one spot from last year, according the Natixis Investment Managers 2018 Global Retirement Index published Thursday.

The index, in its sixth year, assesses how well retired citizens live in various nations across four broad categories — health, finances, material well-being and quality of life.

Natixis attributed part of the improvement in the U.S. ranking to material well-being and finances over last year. "Income equality and employment rate has improved and were a significant contribution to the result," said David Goodsell, executive director of Natixis' durable portfolio construction research center. "The gradual upward movement in interest rates means that pension liabilities can be reduced. It's a really good ranking in totality."

The greatest improvement for the U.S. was in the tax pressure and bank non-performing loans indicators, both of which ranked in the top 10, Natixis found. However, the U.S. had a lower score for the health component of the index compared to last year, down to 10th place.

Switzerland, Iceland and Norway were top three countries, respectively, in the overall index. Switzerland replaced Norway as top-performing country, while Norway fell due to a significant decline in the finances element of the index and a slight decline in terms of material well-being.

Rounding out the top 10 were Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada. Luxembourg and Germany fell out of top 10, to 11th and 13th, respectively, replaced by Ireland and Canada, two of the most-improved performers. Canada and Ireland ranked 11th and 14th , respectively, in 2017.

The U.K. ranked 17th, one spot higher compared to last year because of improvements in the material well-being, quality-of-life and health categories.

The four lowest-ranking countries in 2018 were India, Brazil, Greece and China. Russia swapped places with China, improving in health, finances and material well-being. China's decline was attributed to lower scores in material well-being and quality-of-life categories.