Denmark is the best placed country among the members of the EU to provide its citi-zens with adequat...
Denmark is the best placed country among the members of the EU to provide its citi-zens with adequate pensions, according to the European Pensions Barometer.
Portugal, the top ranked country in 2005's inaugural Barometer, slipped to 13th place due to improvements in demography and private pension provision by other countries and the influx of new countries into the scope of the survey.
Two EU accession countries in 2006 - Estonia and Latvia - were among the top four, relegating the Netherlands and the UK to fifth and sixth place respectively in the survey.
The UK pension system ranked sixth out of 25, despite the fact the UK has the least generous state pension system in the EU. This is because of relatively favourable demography (in particular people do not retire as early as in many other EU countries), the historically strong private pensions system and the affordability of the state pension.
Donald Duval, chief actuary at Aon Consulting, said: "Although the UK is better placed than many other EU countries, the inadequacy of the state pension is a persistent problem, and the decline in company pensions (caused by over-regulation) means the UK ranking is likely to decline in future.
"An apparently surprising feature of the Barometer is the strong performance of some of the recently-joined countries such as Estonia and Latvia. However, this is primarily due to the poor mortality and relatively late retirement experienced in these countries, which makes it possible to provide relatively generous state pensions at an affordable cost.
"As the mortality in these countries improves, which one would hope would be accelerated by their joining the EU, then pensions may become more of a problem in the future." key points
Denmark topped the 2006 EU pensions barometer
The UK fell to sixth because of state pension inadequacy
Poor mortality helped Estonia and Latvia to a high position
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