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Pension systems in East Asia and the Pacific : challenges and opportunities


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  • Holzmann, Robert
  • Mac Arthur, Ian W.
  • Sin, Yvonne


With the recovery from the recent crisis, countries of the East Asia and Pacific region are rethinking their financial, and social policy, including old-age protection. Population aging, in combination with ongoing urbanization, and economic transformation, will place increasing pressure on traditional family care arrangements. Coverage under formal pension systems is generally low, and the absence of social safety nets for the needy elderly, poses risks in the face of breaks in the economic growth path. In addition to common systemic challenges, formal old-age income support systems confront issues specific to their design type: 1) The national provident fund, and social security systems with reserve funds, have demonstrated problems with investment policy, and performance, governance and management. 2) In the established market economies, social security systems are fiscally unsustainable in the long run, and often have a weak benefit-contribution link. 3) These types of systems encounter additional problems in transition economies, including low contribution collection from previously socialized enterprises. Options addressed by the paper involve the adoption of an integrated view on retirement income provision, averting fiscal un-sustainability, and, integrating public, and private sector pensions. Additionally, moving toward a multi-pillar structure with prudent coverage extension, and, fostering financial markets, to allow decentralized pension funds management, are also suggested.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 23088.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:23088

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Keywords: Health Economics&Finance; Public Sector Economics; Pensions&Retirement Systems; Environmental Economics&Policies; Banks&Banking Reform;


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Cited by:
  1. Manasan, Rosario G., 2009. "Reforming Social Protection Policy: Responding to the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond," Discussion Papers, Philippine Institute for Development Studies DP 2009-22, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  2. Rosengard, Jay, 2004. "Will Bank Bailouts Bust Budgets? Fiscalization of the East Asian Financial Crisis," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp04-012, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Manasan, Rosario G., 2009. "Social Insurance in the Philippines: Responding to the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond," Discussion Papers, Philippine Institute for Development Studies DP 2009-23, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  4. Park, Donghyun & Estrada, Gemma, 2012. "Developing Asia’s Pension Systems and Old-Age Income Support," ADBI Working Papers, Asian Development Bank Institute 358, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  5. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax Incentives to Saving and Borrowing," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3881, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jorge A. Chan-Lau, 2004. "Pension Funds and Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers, International Monetary Fund 04/181, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2002. "Tax Incentives for Household Saving and Borrowing," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 83, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  8. Giang, Thanh Long, 2005. "Pension Liabilities and Generational Relations: The Case of Vietnam," MPRA Paper 970, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2006.
  9. Giang, Thanh Long & Pfau, Wade Donald, 2008. "Demographic Changes and Pension Finances in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 9931, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Barrientos, Armando, 2002. "Comparing Pension Schemes in Chile, Singapore, Brazil and South Africa," General Discussion Papers, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) 30560, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).


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