The 2015 Index reviews pension systems in the same 25 countries as the 2014 Index. There were no changes to questions asked this year.
This consistency enables comparisons to be made easily from year to year.
However there was a change to the scoring system used for Question S2.
The level of pension assets, expressed as a percentage of each country’s GDP, represents an indicator of how much money had been put aside to pay future retirement benefits. It represents one of the key indicators within the sustainability sub-index.
When the Index commenced in 2009, no country had pension assets that exceeded 150% of GDP. Hence the maximum score was given at that level. Since that time, and despite the effects of the global financial crisis, Denmark and the Netherlands now have pension assets between 160% and 170% of GDP. We have therefore increased the level of pension assets required to receive the maximum score from 150% to 175% of GDP. This change means that the score for this indicator will be reduced slightly for most countries, unless there was a significant increase in the level of pension assets.
There have been two significant changes in the data provided by international agencies which has had a material impact on certain scores for a few countries. First, the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a major review of their Personal Disposable Income data for a number of countries to make estimates in a more robust manner and thereby improve the quality of this data. This data is used to estimate the net household saving rate (Question A3).
For Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, the Netherlands and Sweden, this change resulted in a significant increase in the household saving rate whereas for India there was a material reduction. For the Netherlands and Sweden, the increased rates are now consistent with those produced by the OECD.
Second, the United Nations updated life expectancies in the World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision. Current life expectancies at birth increased in most, but not all, countries by an average of 1.1 years, with the largest increases for Chile and India. Projected life expectancies in 20 years also increased. These changes adversely affected the scores for most countries as the expected period of retirement increased (Question S3).