Growth rates for retirement assets began slowing worldwide in 2007. In the 11 countries with the largest workplace retirement systems, the estimated growth rate for retirement assets was only 2 percent in 2007. This was a significant drop from the 10.5 percent growth rate for the five-year period ending in 2007 and from the 7.4 percent per annum growth of the last 10 years. U.S. short-term returns were better with retirement assets growing 8.3 percent in 2007 and 10.9 percent over five years. U.S. retirement assets make up an estimated 60 percent of assets in the 11 countries, although the U.S. share has been declining slowly.
Watson Wyatt’s Global Pension Assets Study analyzes retirement assets in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.