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Pension Coverage and Informal Sector Workers: International Experiences


  • Yu-Wei Hu


  • Fiona Stewart



Pension reform around the world in recent decades has focused mainly on the formal sector. Consequently, many of those working in the informal sector have been left out of structured pension arrangements, particularly in developing countries – a serious problem given this group are often low income earners, vulnerable to economic volatility and change. However, since the turn of the millennium, efforts in a range of countries have increasingly highlighted improving pension coverage for informal sector workers. This paper provides an overview of selected country experience in this regard, and provides some suggestions for governments in developing countries considering implementing their own pension reform to ensure that informal sector workers receive the retirement income they need. La couverture des travailleurs du secteur informel par les systèmes de retraite : expériences au niveau international Les réformes des systèmes de retraite mises en oeuvre dans le monde au cours des dernières décennies étaient surtout centrées sur le secteur formel. Beaucoup de travailleurs du secteur informel sont donc restés à l'écart des régimes de retraite institutionnalisés, en particulier dans les pays en développement, ce qui constitue un problème grave étant donné que ce groupe est souvent composé de travailleurs à faibles revenus, vulnérables face à l'instabilité et au changement économiques. Cela étant, depuis le passage au nouveau millénaire, un certain nombre de pays se sont de plus en plus attachés à améliorer la couverture des travailleurs du secteur informel par les systèmes de retraite. Le présent document donne un aperçu de l'expérience de quelques pays à cet égard et formule, à l'intention des gouvernements de pays en développement qui envisagent la mise en place d'une réforme des retraites, des suggestions visant à ce que les travailleurs du secteur informel bénéficient d'un revenu suffisant au moment de la retraite.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu-Wei Hu & Fiona Stewart, 2009. "Pension Coverage and Informal Sector Workers: International Experiences," OECD Working Papers on Insurance and Private Pensions 31, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafaab:31-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Renuka Sane & Susan Thomas, 2015. "In Search of Inclusion: Informal Sector Participation in a Voluntary, Defined Contribution Pension System," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(10), pages 1409-1424, October.
    2. Roberta Gatti & Diego F. Angel-Urdinola & Joana Silva & Andras Bodor, 2014. "Striving for Better Jobs : The Challenge of Informality in the Middle East and North Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 19905.
    3. Leonardo Villar & Alejandro Becerra & David Forero, 2017. "Alternativas para extender la cobertura del sistema de protección económica a la vejez en Colombia," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 015727, FEDESARROLLO.

    More about this item


    aide sociale; compulsion; couverture des systèmes de retraite; financial education; incentives; incitations; informal sector; micro finance; micro-finance; non contributif; non-contributory; pension coverage; secteur informel; social assistance; éducation financière;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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