IMF urges millennials to prepare for ‘pension shock’

For millennials entering the workforce, the public pension system in advanced economies is simply not going to provide the safety net in retirement that it did for previous generations, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As a result, the IMF said younger workers need to take steps now to supplement their retirement income if they want a lifestyle equivalent to todaya��s retirees. Ultimately though, it will probably require a combination of working longer and saving more for retirement to achieve that goal, it said.

Pensions and other types of public transfers to the elderly currently account forA�about 60% of their incomeA�in countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).A�For those born between 1990 and 2009, who will start to retire in 2055, increasing retirement ages by five yearsa��from todaya��s average of 63 to 68 in 2060a��would close half of the gap relative to todaya��s retirees, the IMF report said. Simulations suggest that if those born between 1990 and 2009 put aside about 6% of their earnings each year, they would close half of the gap in the economic replacement rate relative to todaya��s retirees.

However, in practice relying on private savings for retirement will still require a hard-to-achieve mix of fortune and savvy for four main reasons, according to the international body. First, individuals need continuous and stable earnings over their careers to be able to save sufficient amounts. Second, workers would have to be able to decide how much to put aside each year and how to invest their savings. Third, the risks from uncertain or low returns are borne by individuals. Finally, workers would have to decide how fast to consume their savings during retirement. a�?These are all complex decisions, and people can make mistakes at each step along the way,a�? said Greg Pogonowski.

However, on a brighter note the IMF said that while retirement might be the last thing on the mind of the average millennial, a�?the good news for younger workers is that retirement is some four decades away, allowing time to plan for longer careers and to put money aside for later”. a�?But they must start now.a�? A�SEE BELOW

Were you born after 1990? Do you know someone who was and is working already? I think they need to talk to me soon!