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

COUNTRY FOCUS: BULGARIA

R. Whitford

Pensions International, no. 43, 2002, p. 10-11

Bulgaria's three-pillar pension system consists of compulsory universal insurance, compulsory supplementary occupational schemes and voluntary supplementary schemes. Article outlines recent and expected future adjustments.

OLD-AGE SECURITY IN BHUTAN: FROM LUMP-SUM PAYMENTS TOWARDS A PENSION SCHEME

W. Schmähl

International Social Security Review, vol. 55, no. 4, 2002, p. 107-126

Provides a detailed description of social protection for older people in Bhutan. Argues that while the extended family network will continue to be important in providing a safety net, there is a need for a more formal social security system. Suggests that the current mandatory savings scheme for civil servants be converted into a pension scheme. Simulation results show that a shift from a provident fund to pay-as-you-go defined benefit systems for civil servants would lead to both lower costs and improved benefits.

PROVIDENT FUNDS IN ASIA: SOME LESSONS FOR PENSION REFORMERS

D. C. Lindeman

International Social Security review, vol. 55, no. 4, 2002, p. 55-70

Article examines the lessons for pension reformers from the operation of provident funds, using the examples of India, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Argues that provident funds need to address issues which are similar to those faced by conventional defined benefit schemes in OECD countries.

REFORMING FORMAL SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS IN INDIA AND SRI LANKA

W. Karunarathne and R. Goswami

International Social Security Review, vol. 55, no. 4, 2002, p. 89-106

The British colonial heritage has meant that these two, otherwise very different, countries have quite similar social security arrangements and many common challenges. Both countries need to modernise the governance, operations and investment policies of their provident and pension fund organisations. The fiscal burden of civil service pensions has become unsustainable particularly in most Indian states. In both countries, prospects for voluntary, tax-advantaged pension products offered by life insurance companies are good, but effective supervision and regulation needs to be put in place.

SOCIAL INSURANCE SCHEMES IN THE GULF COUNTRIES

Z. S. Mohammed

International Social Security Review, vol. 55, no. 4, 2002, p. 157-169

Social insurance schemes in the Gulf states are based on the defined benefit principle. They have succeeded in creating large reserves, which are managed and invested independently by social insurance institutions. However, the schemes are facing a continuous escalation in their costs due to their generosity rather than to population ageing.

SOCIAL SECURITY FOR THE UNORGANIZED SECTOR IN SOUTH ASIA

S. I. Rajan

International Social Security Review, vol. 55, no. 4, 2002, p. 143-156

Discusses provision of old age homes, pensions and social assistance to the disadvantaged elderly population by the governments of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The analysis suggests that both the state and voluntary sector have played a limited part in provision of social assistance to older people. Coverage is patchy and funding inadequate.

SOCIAL SECURITY PRIVATIZATION REFORM AND LABOR MARKETS: THE CASE OF CHILE

S. Edwards and A. C. Edwards

Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 50, 2002, p. 465-490

In 1981 the chilean government replaced the insolvent pay-as-you-go state pension scheme with a system based on individual retirement accounts. Article models the impact of this reform on labour market outcomes, including unemployment and wages. Results from the simulation model suggest that the reforms resulted in a modest increase of 2% in informal sector wages and made a positive contribution to the reduction of Chile's aggregate unemployment.

SOUTHEAST ASIA'S SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMS: NEED FOR A SYSTEM-WIDE PERSPECTIVE AND PROFESSIONALISM

M. G. Asher

International Social Security Review, vol. 55, no. 4, 2002, p. 71-88

Author is encouraged by the foundations being laid for a multitier pension system in Thailand, and warns of the pitfalls of relying on a single mandatory savings tier to finance retirement in Singapore and Malaysia. His analysis emphasizes the need to enhance professionalism in the core management of provident and pension funds, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Recommends that each country in Southeast Asia should set up a Provident and Pension Fund Authority to provide leadership in enhancing professionalism.

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