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Individual accounts as social insurance : a World Bank perspective

  • Holzmann, Robert
  • Palacios, Robert

The trend toward including individual accounts as part of the mandatory pension system continues unabated. Nine Latin American countries have introduced individual accounts (Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia, Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua) and several more are preparing to do so (Ecuador, Dominican Republic) . A similar trend has emerged in Europe where the former socialist countries are taking the lead: Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Poland have already passed reform legislation and many others including Croatia, Estonia, Macedonia, Romania and the Ukraine are preparing their own versions. There is also movement in this direction in Western Europe, even in countries with large, state defined benefit plans like Sweden. Several Asian versions of the individual accounts strategy are also emerging, ranging from the gradually liberalization of Singapore's Central Provident Fund to Hong Kong's new, employer based, defined contribution scheme. In fact, reforms that assign an important role to individual accounts are being discussed in dozens of countries in every region of the world. This brief note states the broad arguments for individual accounts. More detailed discussion of specific reforms and issues can be found at www.worldbank.org/pensions. The structure of the paper is as follows: Section II provides some needed clarification on"individual accounts", Section III outlines the main arguments for individual accounts while Section IV concludes.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 23303.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:23303
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  1. Valdes-Prieto, Salvador, 2000. " The Financial Stability of Notional Account Pensions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 395-417, June.
  2. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Winter, Joachim, 1999. "Pension reform, savings behavior and corporate governance," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-48, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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