This story about pensions isn't quite what it seems

Britain's pensions system is appalling apparently:

British workers can expect among the worst pensions in the developed world, according to a report from investment bank UBS, which compared the retirement outlook for a 50-year-old woman in major cities across the globe.

UBS calculated how much a country’s basic state pension, plus “mandated” pensions such as the UK’s automatic enrolment scheme and Australia’s “superannuation” scheme, would pay out as a proportion of the income of a 50-year-old “average Jane” living in the capital city.

This doesn't actually say anything at all about what pension can be expected. It only says something about the mandatory, state and other, pension that will be accumulated. Thus a system which deliberately and specifically encourages private pensions saving will do badly by this measure.

When we include such private pensions savings the UK comes second equal apparently.

Just to reiterate the point:

Private pension arrangements were not included in the study, which looked purely at mandatory arrangements in each country – in other words, the compulsory amounts that employers must set aside, plus the payouts from state pensions.

Why would a pension system be bad just because people voluntarily save for their own old age? 

There is an amusement here as well. For in all the wealth statistics (and yes, this is standard, entirely so) private pensions savings are counted as wealth. State pensions, including those owed to state employees but which are pay as you go rather than funded, are not counted as wealth. The argument being that governments can and do change their minds so we cannot regard such promised sums as being secure.

Thus pensions systems which use the private savings method, those which build real owned wealth, count as bad pensions systems. Ones which rely upon the caprice of future governments are good ones. Well, is that amusing, surprising or despicable?

Your call there.