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Social security in Latin America: recent reforms and challenges

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  • Stephen J. Kay
  • Barbara E. Kritzer
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    Abstract

    Over the last decade Latin American countries have served as the world's laboratory for pension systems based upon individual retirement savings accounts. In the 1990s several countries in the region followed Chile's lead in setting up individual accounts, and since that time countries throughout the world have looked to the region for lessons. ; This article summarizes the broad range of pension reforms in Latin America and highlights some of the most noteworthy and unique features of each country's reforms. Some countries have adopted defined-contribution individual accounts as a replacement for state-run pension systems; other countries have embraced mixed systems or have made individual accounts optional and supplementary. The authors also examine some of the most serious policy challenges faced by governments implementing the new systems. Policymakers are seeking to reduce administrative costs, limit evasion, incorporate new categories of workers into the system, and improve competition in the pension fund industry. ; The authors conclude that pension reforms are continuously subject to revision and that reform itself can be an incremental process. Latin America's social security systems are likely to continue to attract international attention from policymakers as governments worldwide confront the challenges of pension reform.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (2001)
    Issue (Month): Q1 ()
    Pages: 41-52

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2001:i:q1:p:41-52:n:v.86no.1

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    Keywords: Latin America ; Social security;

    References

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    1. Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Social Security Reform in Uruguay: An Economic Assessment," Pension Research Council Working Papers 96-20, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Eduardo Lora & Mauricio Olivera, 1998. "Macro Policy and Employment Problems in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4116, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. De Mesa, Alberto Arenas & Bertranou, Fabio, 1997. "Learning from social security reforms: Two different cases, Chile and Argentina," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-348, March.
    4. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
    5. Queisser, Monika, 1997. "Pension reform and private pension funds in Peru and Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1853, The World Bank.
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