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Kazakhstan's Pension System: Pressures for Change and Dramatic Reforms


  • Seitenova, Ai-Gul S.
  • Becker, Charles M.


Five years ago, Kazakhstan embarked on a dramatic reform of its pension and social security system in order to move from an unsustainable public defined benefit ("solidarity") system to one of defined mandatory contributions (accumulative system). While assessment of long-run success is premature, early results have exceeded expectations. This paper considers the reform's rationale and initial impact: Why did the Government of Kazakhstan decide to introduce a new pension system? What advantages did the state perceive? Was the Government's decision appropriate, and what alternatives existed? The paper also analyzes pension reform issues that have yet to be fully resolved.

Suggested Citation

  • Seitenova, Ai-Gul S. & Becker, Charles M., 2003. "Kazakhstan's Pension System: Pressures for Change and Dramatic Reforms," Discussion Paper 142, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:piedp1:142
    Note: for presentation at the Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University, Workshop on Pension Reform in Transition Economies, Tokyo, Japan, February 22, 2003, This research has been funded in part by the US Agency for International Development and by the US National Institute of Aging through a grant to the University of Colorado.

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    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • P35 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Public Finance
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies


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