IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Options for pension reform in Tunisia


  • Vittas, Dimitri


Tunisia's pension system provides old age, survivorship, and disability benefits to retired and disabled workers and their dependents. It is a partially funded system based on solidarity between generations. It is designed to provide insurance against loss of income in old age, especially for people who live longer than average, and to redistribute income more favorably toward low-income retired workers. Only to a limited extent does it achieve a third objective: compulsory long-term saving. The author analyzes the structure of Tunisia's pension system, assesses its financial condition, and sets out options for pension reform. He finds that the current system: a) is fragmented, comprising several schemes with different rules and conditions; b) promises generous benefits, with high targeted replacement rates that may be unsustainable; c) despite high benefits, operates with low contribution rates, because both the system and the labor force are young; d) only weakly links contributions and benefits - it suffers from evasion of contributions and inflated benefit claims and redistribution (from capricious favoring of workers with low incomes and short credited service); and e) faces increasing financial pressures because it is maturing and expanding benefits, but its reserves show poor investment performance and it has failed to adjust contribution rates. The author proposes the following main reforms: a) in the short run, reallocating social security contributions from family allowances to pensions and improving the financialperformance of reserves; b) in the medium term, rationalizing benefit formulas through gradual use of lifetime actualized earnings, indexing pensions, gradually increasing the normal retirement age, and exanding the use of proportional pensions for workers with short careers; and c) in the longer term, a more radical program to create a fully capitalized pillar that complements a redistributive pillar paying basic benefits. This would generate long-term savings, stimulate the development of capital markets, and facilitate the privatization program. A third pillar, voluntary savings encouraged by tax savings, would cover self-employed people not covered by occupational schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Vittas, Dimitri, 1993. "Options for pension reform in Tunisia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1154, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1154

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vittas, Dimitri & Iglesias, Augusto, 1992. "The rationale and performance of personal pension plans in Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 867, The World Bank.
    2. Vittas, Dimitri, 1992. "Contractual savings and emerging securities markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 858, The World Bank.
    3. Davis, E.P. & DEC, 1993. "The structure, regulation, and performance of pension funds in nine industrial countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1229, The World Bank.
    4. Vittas, Dimitri, 1993. "Swiss Chilanpore : the way forward for pension reform?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1093, The World Bank.
    5. Vittas, Dimitri & Skully, Michael, 1991. "Overview of contractual savings institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 605, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. MOUNA BEN OTHMAN & Mohamed Ali MAROUANI, 2016. "Labor Market Effects of Pension Reform :an overlapping genenrations general equilibrium model applied to Tunisia," EcoMod2016 9294, EcoMod.
    2. Vittas, Dimitri & Michelitsch, Roland, 1995. "Pension funds in Central Europe and Russia : their prospects and potential role in corporate governance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1459, The World Bank.
    3. Vittas, Dimitri, 1995. "Tunisia's insurance sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1451, The World Bank.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1154. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.