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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2004): Pensions - Overseas

BENEFITS OR BAILOUT? FUND DEFICITS MAY TOPPLE US PENSION POLICY INTO CRISIS

C. Daniel and D. Roberts

Financial Times, Sept 3rd 2004, p.15

The article reports a growing trend among US companies to dump their defined benefit pension schemes in favour of cheaper defined contribution schemes which transfer risk to employees.

CONTRIBUTION COMPLIANCE IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES: SOME RELEVANT ISSUES

T. Stanovnik

International Social Security Review, Vol.57, Oct.-Dec. 2004, p.51-65

A number of the transition states of Central and Eastern Europe reformed their pension systems in the 1990s. However, insufficient attention was paid to the administrative aspects of these reforms, leading to problems with contribution collection. The article presents an overview of developments in contribution collection and compliance in these countries.

THE EFFECTS OF HEAVY DRINKING ON SOCIAL SECURITY OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS AND BENEFITS

J. Ostermann and F.A. Sloan

The Milbank Quarterly, Vol.82, 2004, p.507-546

The article explores the effects of heavy alcohol consumption on social security old-age and survivor insurance (OASI) contributions and benefits. It finds that for each cohort of 25-year-olds eliminating heavy drinking actually costs the programme an additional $3 billion over the cohort's lifetime. Public health campaigns aim to increase longevity in the long term and this increases the programme's outlays and worsens its financial condition.

HOW HAS PUBLIC POLICY SHAPED DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION COVERAGE IN CANADA?

A.A. Luchak and others

Journal of Labour Research, vol.25, 2004, p.469-484

Article uses the 1994 wave of the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics to examine how public policies and other determinants affect pension coverage. Results show that higher marginal tax rates, earlier vesting, and more permissive eligibility rules increase coverage, while a ban on mandatory retirement has a negative, but insignificant, effect.

THE IMPACT OF TAX-FINANCED PENSIONS ON POVERTY REDUCTION IN LATIN AMERICA: EVIDENCE FROM ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, CHILE, COSTA RICA AND URUGUAY

F.M. Bertranou, W. van Ginneken and C. Solorio

International Social Security Review, Vol.57, Oct-Dec. 2004, p.3-18

The growth of the informal economy in Latin America has led to stagnant or declining membership of contributory pension schemes. In response tax-financed pension schemes have expanded, and have proved effective in reducing poverty and destitution. However, tax-financed pensions could become socially and financially unsustainable in the future unless more workers in the informal economy can be enrolled in statutory pension insurance schemes.

SCHWARZENEGGER TACKLES "PERFECT STORM" OF CITY PENSION PLANS

C. Parks

Financial Times, Sept. 24th 2004, p.6

City and county authorities in California are struggling to fund pension schemes for public-sector workers due to poor stock market performance, higher retirement benefits, increases in disability-related retirements, salary increases and longer life expectancy.

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