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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2005): Pensions - overseas

Administrative fees and costs of mandatory private pensions in transition economies

A. Dobronogov and M. Murthi

Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, vol.4, 2005, p.31-55

Paper discusses administrative charges levied and pension company costs incurred in running mandatory private pension schemes in transition states, using examples from Hungary, Croatia, Kazakhstan and Poland. It finds that current charges are likely to reduce returns on individual account balances by about 1% a year. Charging structures are complex and poorly understood by consumers. Fixed costs incurred by pension companies are estimated to be around $35 per account per year. Concludes that workers need to invest 4-6% of their wages in their individual accounts for these mandatory private schemes to be viable.

Assessing the World Bank report Keeping the Promise

C. Mesa-Lago

International Social Security Review, vol.58, Apr.-Sept.2005, p.97-117

A new World Bank report released in 2004 evaluates the performance of structural pension reforms in several Latin American countries. In the light of data from 10 countries with structural reforms in the region, as well as the author's own research, the article discusses nine key elements of the report: labour force coverage, compliance in payment of contributions, competition among administrators, managerial costs, capital accumulation, fiscal costs during transition, general and gender equity, and isolation from politics.

Pension reform in Greece: 'reform by instalments' – a blocked process?

P. Tinios

West European Politics, vol.28, 2005, p.402-419

In Greece, a pension reform aiming to consolidate the extremely fragmented public system and to encourage longer contribution periods has been on the agenda continuously and frequently as "an urgent matter" for the last 50 years. This paper attempts to explain the persistence of the delays as arising from key structural features of the Greek pension system.

Pension reform, savings behaviour, and capital market performance

A.H. Börsch-Supan, F.J. Koke and J.K. Winter

Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, vol.4, 2005, p.87-107

Population ageing is precipitating pension reform and consequently changing the nature of capital markets in continental Europe. The younger generation is being forced to save more for retirement. The markets for retirement savings are therefore growing in size, and active institutional investors are becoming more important as intermediaries. Paper aims to show that these changes are likely to generate beneficial side effects in terms of improved productivity and aggregate growth.

Rethinking social security in Latin America

I. Gill and others

International Social Security Review, vol.58, Apr.-Sept.2005, p.71-96

In the past decade a number of Latin American countries have adopted a pension system that relies on individual savings accounts. Most countries have also maintained a publicly funded basic pension entitlement to act as a safety net. Article discusses the macroeconomic effect of these reforms, and their impact on coverage levels. Concludes with proposals on how pension systems in Latin America could be improved.

To retire or not to retire: is there an option for older workers in Hong Kong?

K.-L. Chou and N.W.S. Chow

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.233-246

Over the next 30 years, Hong Kong's population will age rapidly, leading to a possible labour shortage. Social policy will need to be adjusted to cope with this change by breaking down the rigid divisions between work, education and retirement. People will need to be given a real choice about when they retire through the rooting out of age discrimination in the workplace and the encouragement of lifelong learning and flexible working.

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