France, America and Social Security
"The causes of underfunded pensions are similar throughout the developed world," says the L.A. Times while commenting on France's recent move to increase the retirement age. "Populations are living longer and pension costs have soared, while in many countries low birthrates have meant fewer people paying into the system. The global economic crisis has cut into employment, further reducing contributions into U.S. Social Security and French government pension funds. But American retirees have suffered an added whammy. While French pensions are fully funded through the government, U.S. workers rely as much on private funds as on Social Security, and Americans' retirement funds and 401ks have been hammered."