America leads the world in many regards. We’re a powerful, diverse country whose economy and culture set us apart as a superpower on the global stage. That said, there are areas the United States can improve upon, based on examples set by allied nations. One thing in particular need on improvement is Social Security.
Georgina Tzanetos reports for GoBankingRates.com on research conducted by the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. Their findings determine that America’s pension plan pales in comparison to our allies across the globe. Countries like Italy and Austria, whose economies are considerable smaller than the U.S., have retirement plans that replace up to 80 percent of earnings over a worker’s career. In America, the Social Security system replaces on average around 40 percent of earnings.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organization whose goal is to help determine and establish international policy standards. OECD’s Social Security standards are an average replacement of 49% of earnings. Meaning that whatever a person makes, their retirement plan will offer 49 percent of their overall earnings as a benefit.
Additionally, U.S. workers just work more too. On average, the American worker works 1,757 hours a year. That’s tens to hundreds of hours more than Japan, U.K and Germany, all of which offer similar benefits as the U.S.
Americans are not afraid of hard work; in fact, we actively embrace it. However, we’re not alright with not receiving fair compensation for that hard work. In addition to receiving less benefits than the rest of the world, it’s debatable whether the American system continues to undermine its seniors.
Ways to combat this are doing what you can to increase your benefits, and by getting in touch with your Representative about protecting the Social Security Trust fund. America does a lot of things well and is a very competitive country. It is time to us to be competitive with our retirement and treat it with the same attention to detail and intensity we bring to everything else.