Table of Contents

  • This ninth edition of Pensions at a Glance provides a range of indicators for comparing pension policies and their outcomes between OECD countries. The indicators are also, where possible, provided for the other major economies that are members of the G20. Two special chapters provide a review of the impact of COVID‑19 on pensions and of recent pension reforms (Chapter 1) and an in-depth analysis of automatic adjustment in pension systems (Chapter 2).

  • Almost two years into the pandemic, this new edition of Pensions at a Glance offers new insights on how pensioners and pension systems have fared during the crisis. In most OECD countries, retirees have not felt the economic impact of the crisis as pensions in payment were largely upheld. The same cannot be said for pension systems under pressure from lower contributions.

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    This edition of Pensions at a Glance discusses the impact of COVID‑19 on pensions and reviews the pension measures legislated in OECD countries between September 2019 and September 2021. As in past editions, a comprehensive selection of pension policy indicators is included for OECD and G20 countries. Moreover, this edition provides an in‑depth analysis of automatic adjustment mechanisms in pension systems.

  • This chapter looks into pension developments over the past two years, including both the effects of the COVID‑19 crisis and pension reforms introduced in OECD and G20 countries between September 2019 and September 2021. In response to the COVID‑19 crisis, measures were introduced to protect the income of workers and pensioners and to limit job losses, with limited impact on accruing pension entitlements. Moreover, recent pension reforms have focused on adjusting retirement ages, extending early retirement options, expanding first-tier pensions and adjusting benefits and contributions in earning-related schemes, including to encourage combining work and pensions. The chapter also summarises the extent to which ageing pressure affected pension spending since 2000 and assesses whether longevity gains had been slowing before the COVID‑19 crisis.

  • The chapter describes automatic adjustment mechanisms in mandatory pension schemes in OECD countries. About two‑thirds of OECD countries employ such mechanisms, including notional defined contribution (NDC) schemes, links of the statutory retirement age to life expectancy, benefit adjustments to changes in life expectancy, demographic ratios or the wage bill, and balancing mechanisms. The chapter discusses what automatic adjustment mechanisms can and cannot do, as well as possible alternative policies. AAMs can be useful tools to prevent pension schemes from becoming increasingly unsustainable as populations age. Finally, it proposes some guidelines for designing and implementing automatic adjustment mechanisms based on OECD countries’ experiences with revising or overturning such mechanisms. This includes the need for wide political agreement on their introduction and avoiding mechanisms that reduce pension benefits in payment in nominal or real terms.