As you probably know, pensions are giant pools of capital responsible for paying out retirement benefits to workers.
And right now many pension funds around the world simply don't have enough assets to cover the retirement obligations they owe to millions of workers.
In the US alone, federal, state, and local governments, pensions are about $7 TRILLION short of the funding they need to pay out all the benefits they've promised.
(** And that doesn't include another $49 trillion in unfunded Social Security obligations…)
America's private pensions are in bad shape too — a total of around 1400 corporate pensions are a combined $553 billion in the hole. Plus, 25% of those funds are expected to go broke in the next decade. But the pension problem is much bigger than just what's happening (though the US problems are SEVERE).
In 2015, the total worldwide gap in pension funding was $70 TRILLION according to the World Economic Forum. That is larger than the twenty largest economies in the world combined.