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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2002): Pensions - Overseas

FILLING CHINA'S PENSION GAP

E. Pitsilis; D. A. von Emloh and Y Wang

Pensions International, issue 40, 2002, p.13-14

China's pay-as-you-go pension scheme created in 1995 is on the verge of bankruptcy, largely because of a rapidly ageing population. Possible reforms include a switch to a defined contribution scheme, and closing the pension-funding gap through the sale of state-owned shares.

GERMANY'S BIG PENSIONS IDEA

D. Bolger

Financial Times, July 11th 2002, p.15

The OECD predicts that over a 45-year period Germany's pension costs will rise from 11.1% of GDP in 1995 to 18.1% in 2040. In order to reduce the expected strain on the public finances, Germany launched a reform in 2001 that allowed people to invest up to 4% of their salaries in a private pension that attracts tax breaks and subsidies. In return, they have to accept a reduction in their future state pension. These new private pension schemes have not proved popular, and take up has been low.

NEW TALKS PLANNED ON PENSION REFORM

F. Kapner & G Jones

Financial Times, July 8th 2002, p.6

The Italian government will restart talks with trade unions on pension reform, after scoring a significant victory on Friday in battle to loosen the country's labour laws. The government wants to offer incentives for a private pension system that would complement the state system, one of the most underfunded in Europe.

PENSIONS PORTABILITY IN THE EU

J Mortensen

Pensions International, no. 40, 2002, p.15-17

Lack of pension portability is proving an obstacle to the free movement of labour in the European Union. A Council Directive on Pension Portability was adopted in 1998. This applies only to occupational pensions operating on a funded basis. It does not cover state pension schemes or private pensions.

SOCIAL SECURITY PENSION REFORM IN EUROPE

M Feldstein and H. Siebert

London: University of Chicago Press, 2002

This book examines the challenges facing pension reform in the ageing societies of Europe which have implemented or are preparing to introduce mixed social security systems which combine traditional defined benefits with individual retirement accounts. The work includes identification of the problems in individual countries that the pension reforms bring and compares them to the United States.

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