Despite uncertain economics, aging demographics and climate change, Canada has moved up one spot among developed nations in the Natixis 2019 Global Retirement Index, now sitting at number 8.

Now in its 7th year, the index provides a status report on retirement security in 44 of the most developed countries and economies around the world examining 18 critical factors in areas that can affect retirement security.

“Meeting the needs of today’s retirees while preserving retirement security for future generations continues to be one of the most pressing challenges for economies around the globe,” said Natixis CEO Jean Raby. “We created the Natixis Global Retirement Index to help facilitate a candid conversation about what steps need to be taken to ensure retirement security on a global scale.”

Low interest rates and longevity cause for retiree risk

Among the major risks to retirees are persistently low interest rates. Combine this with increasing longevity and there is the danger that some retirees will invest in high-risk assets to get better returns, but in the meantime expose their portfolios to greater volatility at an age when they might not be able to recoup losses caused by a sudden market downturn.

The top countries in this year’s index are Iceland, Switzerland and Norway.

Canada ranks high in finances sub-index

Six of the countries finishing in the top 10 overall, including Canada – also rank in the top 10 for finances. The sub-index score in Canada suffered a slight decline from last year due to weaker results for the tax pressure, interest rate and old-age dependency indicators, says Natixis. However, Canada has the highest score for bank non-performing loans and the seventh-highest for governance. But Natixis said there is room for improvement in the government indebtedness area.

Canada also stands in the top 10 when it comes to material wellbeing, air quality and health.

With regards to the quality of life sub-index, Canada dropped from ninth spot last year to 13th this year. Personal wellbeing went from seventh in 2018 to ninth this year. Canada also ranks 36th in biodiversity and habitat.