By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large
No surprise here, but confirmation of what most of us suspected, nonetheless: younger members of the workforce today are facing bleak retirement prospects. According to a new study of the world’s richest economies, there will be just a small number of countries capable of paying out pension benefits anything close to those doled out presently.
Europe has long maintained a tradition of having more time to “stop and smell the roses,” when it comes to work culture. Copious amounts of time away from work, as well as generous pensions paid out to all citizens, have been hallmarks of working in European countries seen as progressive. However, it appears that economic reality is fast catching up to all but a very few of them.
For example, pensions paid out in Britain are presently just under 40 percent of salaries earned, but in 40 years, that figure will be right around 30 percent. As for Americans, while we are right now bringing home about 45 percent of our salaries in the form of retirement income, that figure is expected to drop to about 35 percent by around 2050.
The bottom line is that as the number of older citizens in countries across the globe continues to grow substantially in relation to the number of younger citizens burdened with financing their senior citizen benefits, those benefits will have to be adjusted in a variety of ways, principally by extending official retirement ages, as well as by a simple lowering of sums paid out.