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Population Ageing, Elderly Welfare, and Extending Retirement Cover: The Case Study of Sri Lanka


  • Nirosha Gaminiratne


ESAU Working Paper 3 exploits recently collected survey data for Sri Lanka. Key findings are: Sri Lanka's already fast rising age dependency ratio is expected to double over the next 20years; income poverty in households with elderly people is below the national average - because of family support and because people continue to work into old age; Sri Lanka's existing contribution-based pension schemes only cover 25% of the working age population, but have reached their limit; providing a universal pension (as in parts of India and in South Africa) would do less to reduce poverty than a universal child allowance; it could be afforded now (e.g. by re-focusing the large social assistance programme) but would be become unaffordable as the old age population rises, unless subjected to a means test; and raising the public sector retirement age would bring no relief to the budget - which could afford to index the non-contributory civil service pension scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Nirosha Gaminiratne, 2004. "Population Ageing, Elderly Welfare, and Extending Retirement Cover: The Case Study of Sri Lanka," Working Papers 3, Economics and Statistics Analysis Unit (ESAU), Overseas Development Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:odi:wpaper:3

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    Population ageing; elderly; retirement; social security; Sri Lanka; pension;

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