"/> Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2009): Pensions - overseas
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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2009): Pensions - overseas

The gender impact of social security reform

E. James, A. Edwards, and R. Wong

London: University of Chicago Press, 2008

As populations age and revenues diminish, government and private pension funds around the world are facing insolvency. The looming pensions crisis is especially dire for women, who live longer than men but have worked less in the formal labour force. This study examines alternative pensions systems and their disparate impacts on men and women. Emphasis is placed on the new multi-pillar systems that combine a publicly managed benefit and a mandatory private retirement saving plan. It compares the gendered outcomes of pensions systems in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico, and presents empirical findings from Eastern and Central European transition economies as well as several OECD countries. Women's positions have improved relative to men in countries where joint pensions have been required, widows who have worked can keep the joint pension in addition to their own benefit, the public benefit has been targeted toward low earners, and women's retirement age has been raised to equality with that of men. It has important lessons for economists and policy makers seeking to re-examine the design features that enable pension systems to achieve desirable gender outcomes.

Privatizing pensions: the transnational campaign for social security reform

M. A. Orenstein

Princeton University Press, 2008

This book examines how international institutions, such as the World Bank and USAID, have played a role in the development, diffusion, and implementation of new pension reforms in more than thirty countries worldwide, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Reforming pensions: principles and policy choices

N. Barr and P. Diamond

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008

This book gives an extensive nontechnical explanation of the economics of pension design. It looks at labour markets, capital markets, risk sharing, and gender and family, with comparison of PAYG and funded systems. It recognises that the suitable level of funding differs by country. The theoretical analysis is complemented by discussion of implementation, and of experiences, both good and bad, in many countries, with particular attention to Chile and China.

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