How much does the global financial crisis threaten pension fund assets and subsequently put retirement security at risk? This is one of the crucial questions being asked about the social and political consequences of the crisis. The issue is particularly important as pension reforms all over the world have attempted to strengthen the funded elements of pension systems.
There is no question that the financial crisis is a serious challenge to pension funds all over the world. However, the impact and the depth of the challenge vary. Pension fund performance data for 2008 show that Ireland was hit hardest followed by Hong Kong, the United States and Japan. Meanwhile, pension funds in Italy and Germany suffered comparatively minor losses.