According to Natixis Global Asset Management's annual global survey, France ranks 19th (20th in 2016)
Three major lessons can be drawn from this survey:
- France has improved its score on the four factors studied: pension financing, health, quality of life and material well-being,
- French retirees enjoy an efficient health system and one of the highest life expectancies in the world,
- Controlled public debt and good governance are the strengths of the top three countries in the ranking: Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.
Finally, the study points to the need for individual investors to assume part of the financing of pensions by saving more.
This index is a tool for comparing best practices in public policy across 43 countries. Created in 2013, it gives the countries being compared an overall rating for the sustainability of their pension systems based on four factors having an impact on pensioners’ lives. The financing of pensions is the most important factor, but the index also takes into account the material well-being, health and quality of life of pensioners in order to provide a complete picture.
Western European countries dominate the 2017 ranking, with 8 countries in the top 10: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. They are joined by New Zealand (5th place) and Australia (6th place). The first three benefit from controlled public debt and good governance, which, combined with good scores on health, quality of life and material well-being, enable them to remain at the top of the ranking this year again.
France's quality of life and health system are strong assets, but it suffers from excessive debt and high taxes. France gained a place in the 2017 ranking by improving its score on the four factors studied.
- Material well-being is on the rise, thanks to improved indicators on equal income and per capita income, despite the 7th highest unemployment rate in the countries studied.
- Pension financing is also on a positive trend, although the tax burden (the second highest rate in the index) and public debt remain very high.
- Demographic changes are also a challenge with an increasing old-age dependency ratio.
- The quality of life and above all the efficiency of the health system (for which France is ranked second) are major assets for French pensioners.
- Environmental indicators are on the rise thanks to a reduction in CO2 emissions and an increase in renewable energies.
- On the health side, life expectancy is increasing, as are health coverage and per capita health expenditure.