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Retirement assets worldwide - Statistics & Facts

Retirement assets vary significantly from country to country, driven by differences in amounts of assets accumulated, the performance of the investments, and the way the assets are invested. The United States, which is the leading country in terms of pension fund assets, stands out from the other countries with its retirement assets worth around ten times as much as the second largest pension market, which is the United Kingdom.

The size of the pension market

The total assets of pension funds worldwide grew overall during the past decade and reached almost 51 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019, which was the highest value ever recorded. The drivers of asset growth in pension funds can be attributed to different factors, such as an increase in the proportion of a working-age population covered by a pension plan, or an increase in the contribution rates to the pension plans. Another reason for asset growth can be due to the performance of the pension investments, with high rates in real investment returns. The average compound one-year growth rate of the largest pension markets in 2019 was 11.4 percent.

The seven largest pension markets

The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, and Switzerland are the seven largest pension fund markets in the world, despite their differing population and economy sizes. Relative to its own economy, the Netherlands has the largest pension market. The ratio of pension assets to the gross domestic product in the Netherlands reached over 187 percent as of 2019 which makes the country, despite its relatively small size, one the of the largest pension markets in the world. All these largest markets, except for Japan, has a ratio of pension assets to gross domestic product exceeding 100 percent. The structure of the assets in these seven countries vary widely, but most of the assets are some combination of equities and bonds in all seven. While the United States and Australia have half of their retirement assets in equities and only a smaller share in bonds, the United Kingdom and Japan have more than half of their assets in bonds, and a smaller share in equities.

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Pension funds size

Pension funds asset allocation

Pension fund assets by country

Retirement assets worldwide

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Retirement assets worldwide - Statistics & Facts

Retirement assets vary significantly from country to country, driven by differences in amounts of assets accumulated, the performance of the investments, and the way the assets are invested. The United States, which is the leading country in terms of pension fund assets, stands out from the other countries with its retirement assets worth around ten times as much as the second largest pension market, which is the United Kingdom.

The size of the pension market

The total assets of pension funds worldwide grew overall during the past decade and reached almost 51 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019, which was the highest value ever recorded. The drivers of asset growth in pension funds can be attributed to different factors, such as an increase in the proportion of a working-age population covered by a pension plan, or an increase in the contribution rates to the pension plans. Another reason for asset growth can be due to the performance of the pension investments, with high rates in real investment returns. The average compound one-year growth rate of the largest pension markets in 2019 was 11.4 percent.

The seven largest pension markets

The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, and Switzerland are the seven largest pension fund markets in the world, despite their differing population and economy sizes. Relative to its own economy, the Netherlands has the largest pension market. The ratio of pension assets to the gross domestic product in the Netherlands reached over 187 percent as of 2019 which makes the country, despite its relatively small size, one the of the largest pension markets in the world. All these largest markets, except for Japan, has a ratio of pension assets to gross domestic product exceeding 100 percent. The structure of the assets in these seven countries vary widely, but most of the assets are some combination of equities and bonds in all seven. While the United States and Australia have half of their retirement assets in equities and only a smaller share in bonds, the United Kingdom and Japan have more than half of their assets in bonds, and a smaller share in equities.

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