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Pension systems in East Asia and the Pacific : challenges and opportunities

Listed author(s):
  • Holzmann, Robert
  • Mac Arthur, Ian W.
  • Sin, Yvonne

With the recovery from the recent crisis, countries of the East Asia and Pacific region are rethinking their financial, and social policy, including old-age protection. Population aging, in combination with ongoing urbanization, and economic transformation, will place increasing pressure on traditional family care arrangements. Coverage under formal pension systems is generally low, and the absence of social safety nets for the needy elderly, poses risks in the face of breaks in the economic growth path. In addition to common systemic challenges, formal old-age income support systems confront issues specific to their design type: 1) The national provident fund, and social security systems with reserve funds, have demonstrated problems with investment policy, and performance, governance and management. 2) In the established market economies, social security systems are fiscally unsustainable in the long run, and often have a weak benefit-contribution link. 3) These types of systems encounter additional problems in transition economies, including low contribution collection from previously socialized enterprises. Options addressed by the paper involve the adoption of an integrated view on retirement income provision, averting fiscal un-sustainability, and, integrating public, and private sector pensions. Additionally, moving toward a multi-pillar structure with prudent coverage extension, and, fostering financial markets, to allow decentralized pension funds management, are also suggested.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes with number 23088.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2000
Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:23088
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