The U.S. received a "C" grade in a report ranking the retirement systems of various countries because of factors such as low contribution rates and the high rate at which workers withdraw from 401(k) accounts. The study from Mercer and the Australian Center for Financial Services highlights other countries that provide better basic coverage for workers with mandatory pension-system participation. The U.S. is unlikely to adopt some of those measures, experts say, because of its emphasis on individual freedoms.

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