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Pensions in the Middle East and North Africa: Time for Change

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  • David Robalino

Abstract

This is the first comprehensive assessment of pension systems in the Middle East and North Africa. While other regions-Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, in particular-have been actively introducing reforms to their pension systems, Middle East and North African countries have lagged behind. This is explained, in part, by the common belief that, because demographics remain favorable-the countries are young and the labor force is expanding rapidly-financial problems are far in the future; as a result, pension reform does not have to be a priority in the broader policy agenda. However, the authors show that aging is not the only factor behind a financial crisis; the problem is the generosity of the current schemes. Moreover, badly designed benefit formulas and eligibility conditions introduce unnecessary economic distortions and make the systems vulnerable to adverse distributional transfers. The book does not present a general model that could solve the problems of all pension systems in MENA countries. Instead the authors focus on outlining a framework for guiding discussions on pension reform and making objective policy choices.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 7427 and published in 2005.

ISBN: 0-8213-6185-6
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:7427

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Related research

Keywords: Pensions and Retirement Systems Social Protections and Labor - Social Funds and Pensions Social Protections and Labor - Labor Policies;

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References

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  1. James, Estelle & Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Wong, Rebecca, 2003. "The gender impact of pension reform : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3074, The World Bank.
  2. Whitehouse, Edward, 1999. "The tax treatment of funded pensions," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20126, The World Bank.
  3. Holzmann, Robert & Palacios, Robert & Zviniene, Asta, 2004. "Implicit pension debt: issues, measurement and scope in international perspective," Social Protection Discussion Papers 30153, The World Bank.
  4. Larry Willmore, 2004. "Universal Pensions in Low Income Countries," Public Economics 0412002, EconWPA.
  5. Jeanine Bailliu & Helmut Reisen, 1997. "Do Funded Pensions Contribute to Higher Aggregate Savings?: A Cross-Country Analysis," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 130, OECD Publishing.
  6. Disney, Richard, 1999. "Notional accounts as a pension reform strategy : an evaluation," Social Protection Discussion Papers 21302, The World Bank.
  7. Iglesias, Augusto & Palacios, Robert J., 2000. "Managing public pension reserves - Part I : evidence from the international experience," Social Protection Discussion Papers 21311, The World Bank.
  8. Schwarz, Anita M. & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 1999. "Taking stock of pension reforms around the world," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20533, The World Bank.
  9. Holzmann, Robert, 1998. "Financing the transition to multipillar," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20052, The World Bank.
  10. Philip R. Gerson & G. A. Mackenzie & Peter S. Heller & Alfredo Cuevas, 2001. "Pension Reform and the Fiscal Policy Stance," IMF Working Papers 01/214, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Cross-country comparisons of pensioners’ incomes," MPRA Paper 16345, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Robert Holzmann & Richard Hinz, 2005. "Old Age Income Support in the 21st century: An International Perspective on Pension Systems and Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7336, January.
  2. Farrukh Iqbal, 2006. "Sustaining Gains in Poverty Reduction and Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7048, March.
  3. József Kárpáti, 2011. "The pension systems of Arab countries in the light of socio-economic risks," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 56(2), pages 179-192.
  4. Vittas, Dimitri & Impavido, Gregorio & O'Connor, Ronan, 2008. "Upgrading the investment policy framework of public pension funds," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4499, The World Bank.
  5. Jean-Marc Dupuis & Claire El Moudden & Nacer Eddine Hammouda & Anne Petron & Ilham Dkhissi & Mehdi Ben Braham, 2011. "L’impact des systèmes de retraite sur le niveau de vie des personnes âgées au Maghreb," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 441(1), pages 205-224.
  6. Edward Whitehouse, 2007. "Pensions Panorama : Retirement-Income Systems in 53 Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7177, March.
  7. World Bank, 2006. "Fostering Higher Growth and Employment in the Kingdom of Morocco," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7114, January.
  8. Robalino, David & Tatyana, Bogomolova, 2006. "lmplicit Pension Debt in the Middle-East and North Africa Magnitude and Fiscal lmplications," MPRA Paper 12019, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Dorfman, Mark & Hinz, Richard & Robalino, David, 2008. "The Financial Crisis and Mandatory Pension Systems in Developing Countries: Short- and Medium-term Responses," MPRA Paper 12254, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2008.
  10. Ajantha Kumara & Wade Pfau, 2013. "Would emerging market pension funds benefit from international diversification: investigating wealth accumulations for pension participants," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 319-335, August.
  11. Robalino, David A. & Bodor, András, 2009. "On the financial sustainability of earnings-related pension schemes with ‘pay-as-you-go’ financing and the role of government-indexed bonds," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 153-187, April.
  12. Garcia-Kilroy, Catiana & Silva, Anderson Caputo, 2011. "Reforming government debt markets in MENA," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5611, The World Bank.
  13. Samia BENALLAH & Carole BONNET & Claire El MOUDDEN & Antoine MATH, 2012. "Comment Mesurer La "Générosité" Des Systèmes De Retraite ? Une Application Aux Pays De La Méditerranée," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 35, pages 215-234.
  14. Palacios, Robert & Sluchynsky, Oleksiy, 2006. "Social pensions Part I : their role in the overall pension system," Social Protection Discussion Papers 36237, The World Bank.

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