Pensions at a Glance 2011

Retirement-income Systems in OECD and G20 Countries

image of Pensions at a Glance 2011

The theme of this fourth edition of Pensions at a Glance is pensions, retirement and life expectancy. Many countries have increased pension ages in the face of population ageing and longer lives. Some have introduced an automatic link between pensions and life expectancy. Improvements to the incentives to work rather than retire are also a common part of recent pension-reform packages. However, ensuring that there are enough jobs for older workers remains a challenge. 

An in-depth look at these important policy issues is provided by five special chapters on: pension ages, retirement behaviour, pension incentives to retire, the demand for older workers and linking pensions to life expectancy. This edition updates information on the key features of pension provision in OECD countries and provides projections of retirement income for today’s workers. It offers an expanded range of 34 indicators, covering the design of national retirement-income provision, pension entitlements, incomes of older people, the finances of pension systems, the demographic and economic context in which pension systems operate and private pensions. 

More countries are analysed than in previous editions, including four new members of the OECD: Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia. Where possible, data are also provided for the other major economies in the G20: Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Along with data on the European Union’s 27 member states, this brings to 43 the number of economies covered in the report. 

About Pensions at a Glance...

 “An extraordinarily useful and careful compilation of pension information for a wide-range of countries, presented in a common format and following a thoughtful structure. The authors have brought cross-national pension comparisons to a new level, and they are to be commended for their intensive efforts. [This] represents some of the smartest comparative work out there, by people intimately familiar with the nuances – and complexities – of comparative pension work.” 

- Olivia Mitchell, Director of the Boettner Centre for Pensions and

Retirement Research, 
 Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

English Also available in: French

Helping Older Workers Find and Retain Jobs

The financial incentives in pension systems, explored in Chapter 3, undoubtedly play an important role in retirement decisions. But if there are barriers to working longer on the demand side, pension reforms designed to improve work incentives may be less effective. This chapter describes various barriers affecting employers and employees and what might be done to tackle them. There are still ageist attitudes among employers, particularly over the ability of older workers to adapt to change. Legislation against age discrimination and public-information campaigns have been effective in some, but by no means all, countries that have adopted these policies. In some countries, older workers cost too much and early retirement provides an all-too convenient way of adjusting the size of the workforce. Strict employment-protection legislation can make it costly to hire older workers. Employment opportunities of older workers may be limited because their skills have become devalued or they receive little help in finding new jobs. Available employment opportunities may be unattractive because of poor working conditions or unsuitable and inflexible working-time arrangements. Finally, this chapter discusses the issue of jobs for younger and older workers. It finds that there is no evidence that older workers deprive youths of jobs. In fact, the reverse is true.

English Also available in: French

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