The wheel thing: cycling in Rwanda

We take a cycling tour through Rwanda, which is dubbed the Land of a Thousand Hills.

The East African country of Rwanda is many things, but flat isn’t one of them. So it’s a good place for a new cycling holiday, then? It turns out, in the Land of a Thousand Hills, the answer is “yes”.

My guide is Oli Broom, the kind of Englishman made famous in song – along with mad dogs, he likes to go out in the midday sun. Several years ago, he cycled from London to Australia to watch a cricket match, for charity.

Cricket also brought him to Rwanda, where he spent two years heading up a foundation to build a national stadium for the game. Following the genocide in 1994 – an estimated one million people were murdered in 100 days – Rwandan refugees poured into neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, then brought cricket back with them when they returned.

Broom eventually returned to Europe, and now runs cycling tours in Transylvania. These tours highlight travel at a slower pace, experiencing life at saddle-level, rather than whizzing by in a car, while stopping for fresh food in simple local restaurants and meeting local people along the way.

Next month, he’s launching similar week-long bicycle tours in Rwanda, a country that captured his heart, but is still known internationally for the bloody events of two decades ago.

He’s hoping to appeal to keen cyclists looking for a new challenge and those, like me, who are here more for the sense of adventure, and who might puff and pant en route, but will get there in the end. And it’s all off-tarmac, passing through local villages and away from busy roads.

"Is Rwanda safe now?" I was asked repeatedly before I went. Yes, absolutely, I can report back, unless you count the assault on your dignity as you sweatily cycle up another hill while laughing village children yell "mzungu, mzungu" ("white man") as they run past you.

I join Broom for a “recce” trip, cycling from the capital, ­Kigali, to the forested chain of volcanoes that stretch from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda, sweeping serenely across the north-west of ­Rwanda, providing a home to the mountain gorillas that attract most tourists here.

We’re joined by a Scot, a New Zealander, an American, and the Rwandan cyclist and guide Segond Fidens Iragena, who’s a local celebrity having pedalled from Beijing to Bangkok while he was studying in China.

Kigali itself is a pleasant enough city in which to spend a first day in the country, although there’s not a long tick-list. ­Brioche is a quiet cafe if you want to sit and read your guidebook over a pain au chocolat and cappuccino, and there’s Mr Chips if you’d rather have a burger.

The Genocide Museum, however, is a must. Get the audio guide, which gives a much more comprehensive assessment of the situation leading up to the massacre than the information panels. It’s incredibly moving, and some of the displays, as you might expect, are disturbing.

We hugely enjoyed a visit to Club Rafiki, a project that aims to take marginalised children off the streets, and teaches them, among other things, hip-hop and dance, which they then use as a medium to relay social messages to other teenagers.

But it’s the rolling countryside we’re here to see, and all of us are keen to crack on. There’s a back-up bus that accompanies the group, and we hitch a lift out of town to bypass the worst of ­Kigali’s switchback hills.

Later, we're pedalling 42 kilometres along dirt-red roads, past coffee bushes and eucalyptuses, practising Kinyarwanda, the local language, with a chant that became a constant refrain over the next few days: "Amakuru?" ("How are you?"); "Ni mese" ("I'm fine").

The hills aren’t very steep, but they’re long and unforgiving. Surely the top is round the next bend? No, apparently not. Luckily, the views in the valley below are sufficiently breathtaking to necessitate frequent photo stops. Eventually, we arrive at the Sorwathe tea plantation in Kinihira, where we eat curry and spend the night.

The next morning, a thick blanket of fog carpets the valley, with volcano cones poking through, and the sound of villagers on their way to church and the market carries uphill. We pedal down along bumpy tracks and past field after field of virulently green tea plants, stopping in villages to say hello and have a drink, always attracting interested crowds.

The countryside is pristine: plastic bags are banned in Rwanda, and can be confiscated from tourists if they’re found at the airport. But another factor seems to be grinding poverty: many rural dwellers simply can’t afford a bag of crisps or a bottle of pop, so we see no litter.

This was another 40km day, also with some long, leg-buckling hills and plenty of children to giggle and point at exactly the moment I come to a grinding halt and – cough, cough – stop for photos.

The rewards, though, are many, in terms of scenery and encounters with Rwandans, who are always gently curious about the sweaty, mud-splattered strangers in their midst.

Our goal is Lake Ruhondo and the Ruhondo Beach Resort, although when we reach it, the latter is more a triumph of marketing than actual sand.

Still, there can be fewer finer places to watch the sun go down than here, gazing out at the tranquil waters, a few log-hewn canoes bobbing in the middle distance, and beyond them, volcanoes in three different countries providing the backdrop. Before bed, we dine al fresco on lake-caught tilapia fish.

The next day, we put our bikes on a small boat and putt-putt our way to the other side of the lake, before taking a short cut along a path so rutted we’re forced to get off and push. We duck under banana leaves and bamboo, walking past fields of beans, until we can remount and carry on the 30km or so towards the Rwanda ­National ­Cycling Centre, where we stay the night.

On future tours, guests will be able to ride with members of Team Africa Rising, who will be competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and are coached by the former Tour de France competitor Jock Boyer.

Instead, we just tuck into pizza in the nearby town of ­Musanze, before rising early the next morning for the trek uphill through thick forest to see mountain gorillas in the ­Volcanoes National Park.

As bucket-list experiences go, this is right up there. When you eventually come within metres of a silverback and his band in a misty clearing, after several hours of muddy slog, you can understand why the 80-daily trekking permits, which each cost about Dh3,000, get snapped up so quickly. It’s quite sobering, though, to think that amount is approximately half of Rwanda’s annual GDP per capita, based on World Bank estimates.

For an hour, we photograph, watch and are studiously ignored by the gorilla troupe, who yawn, scratch, doze, play, nitpick and urinate in front of us.

Then we set off, downhill, back to our bikes, hoping for some flat ground before the inescapable climbs again, and the equally inevitable giggles of ­"mzungu" that carry towards us on the equatorial breeze.

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The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

Florence and the Machine – High as Hope
Three stars

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

IF YOU GO

The flights

FlyDubai flies direct from Dubai to Skopje in five hours from Dh1,314 return including taxes. Hourly buses from Skopje to Ohrid take three hours.

The tours

English-speaking guided tours of Ohrid town and the surrounding area are organised by Cultura 365; these cost €90 (Dh386) for a one-day trip including driver and guide and €100 a day (Dh429) for two people. 

The hotels

Villa St Sofija in the old town of Ohrid, twin room from $54 (Dh198) a night.

St Naum Monastery, on the lake 30km south of Ohrid town, has updated its pilgrims' quarters into a modern 3-star hotel, with rooms overlooking the monastery courtyard and lake. Double room from $60 (Dh 220) a night.

 

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood