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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2003): Pensions - Overseas

THE GENDER IMPACT OF PENSION REFORM

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

Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Vol. 2, 2003, p.181-219

Critics of multi-pillar pension reforms argue that the tight link between payroll contributions and benefits in the defined contribution (DC) pillar will produce lower pensions for women. In contrast, supporters argue that multi-pillar systems remove distortions that favoured men and permit a targeted public pillar that will help women. In order to test these conflicting claims the paper examines the differential impact on men and women of the new and old systems in Chile, Argentina and Mexico. It finds that women do indeed accumulate retirement funds and private annuities that are only 30-40% those of men from the DC pillar of multi-pillar systems. However, this effect is mitigated by targeting the new public pillars towards low earners, many of whom are women, and by restrictions on payout provisions, particularly joint-annuity requirements.

ITALY TREADS CAUTIOUSLY IN REFORM OF INDEBTED PENSIONS SYSTEM

T. Barber

The Financial Times, September 5th 2003, p.8

Italy's government yesterday made it clear that it would not propose penalties for workers opting for early retirement. Although ultimately the Prime Minister wants to raise the average retirement age from 60 to 62, seniority pensions will be left unchanged until 2008.

RUSSIAN FEARS ON PENSION MANAGERS

A. Ostrovsky

The Financial Times, September 8th 2003, p.7

From next year Russians will be able to appoint a private manager to run their pensions rather than the state. However, there is concern that many of those recommended by the government are not qualified for the task. Many have little or no experience of managing public funds, increasing the risk for investors and potentially discrediting pension reform in Russia.

SENATORS TRY TO SQUARE PENSIONS CIRCLE

N. Cohen

The Financial Times, September 17th 2003, p.10

US senators are to tackle pensions legislation which aims to balance the short-term need to add millions of dollars to under-funded company pension plans, whilst considering long-term higher costs. They must also deal with companies trying to cut the cost of workers' retirement benefits.

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