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The New Hungarian Pension System and its Problems


  • Andras Simonovits

    () (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)


In January 1, 1998 a new, three-pillar pension system was introduced in Hungary. It will replace about a 1/4 of the existing unfunded public system by a funded private system from 2013. This transition is obligatory for people entering the labor market after June 30, 1998 and optional for others. Meanwhile the public pillar is also reformed. Pensionable age is increasing significantly but smoothly, wage index-ation is replaced by a combined wage-price indexation and the link between earnings and benefits will be rectified between 2009–2013. The official view is that it is this reform package which will make the Hungarian pension system sustainable in the long run and will contribute to the development of capital markets. The critics of the reforms, including the author, underline several remaining and new problems: the public pillar retains its weak points until 2013, the consolidated balance may deteriorate rather than improve under the partial privatization and the welfare of the old population will be relatively lower due to the decreased security.

Suggested Citation

  • Andras Simonovits, 1999. "The New Hungarian Pension System and its Problems," IEHAS Discussion Papers 9901, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:9901

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1996. "Privatization of Social Security: How It Works and Why It Matters," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 10, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 115-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kornai, Janos, 1997. "The Reform of the Welfare State and Public Opinion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 339-343, May.
    4. Palacios, Robert & Rocha, Roberto, 1998. "The Hungarian pension system in transition," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 20048, The World Bank.
    5. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1998. "The Transition Path in Privatizing Social Security," NBER Chapters,in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 215-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-154.
    7. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Eso & Andras Siminovits, 2002. "Designing Optimal Benefit Rules for Flexible Retirement," Discussion Papers 1353, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. András Simonovits, 2000. "Partial privatization of a pension system: lessons from Hungary," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 519-529.
    3. Katharina Müller, 2000. "Pension privatization in Latin America," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 507-518.


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