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Developing Asia’s Pension Systems and Old-Age Income Support


  • Park, Donghyun

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Estrada, Gemma

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)


Old-age income support is becoming an issue of growing importance throughout Asia. This is especially true in East and Southeast Asia where the population is aging. This paper provides a broad overview of the current state of pension systems in the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam; analyzes the pension systems; and identifies their major structural weaknesses. The paper concludes with some specific policy directions for pension reform to strengthen the capacity of Asian pension systems in delivering economic security for the large and growing population of elderly looming on the region’s horizon.

Suggested Citation

  • Park, Donghyun & Estrada, Gemma, 2012. "Developing Asia’s Pension Systems and Old-Age Income Support," ADBI Working Papers 358, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0358

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Barr & Peter Diamond, 2006. "The Economics of Pensions," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 15-39, Spring.
    2. N/A, 2008. "At a Glance," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 203(1), pages 2-3, January.
    3. Holzmann, Robert & Palacios, Robert & Zviniene, Asta, 2004. "Implicit pension debt: issues, measurement and scope in international perspective," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 30153, The World Bank.
    4. Holzmann, Robert & Mac Arthur, Ian W. & Sin, Yvonne, 2000. "Pension systems in East Asia and the Pacific : challenges and opportunities," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23088, The World Bank.
    5. Peter S. Heller, 2006. "Is Asia Prepared for an Aging Population?," IMF Working Papers 06/272, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Alberto Arenas de Mesa & Carmelo Mesa-Lago, 2006. "The Structural Pension Reform in Chile: Effects, Comparisons with Other Latin American Reforms, and Lessons," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 149-167, Spring.
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    More about this item


    asia; pension systems; old-age income support; population aging; pension reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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