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Pensions at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2013

image of Pensions at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2013

Pensions are a major policy issue in developed and developing countries alike. However, pension reform is challenging and controversial because it involves long-term planning by governments faced with numerous short-term pressures. It often provokes heated debates and, sometimes, street protests.

Countries can learn valuable lessons from others’ pension systems and their experiences of retirement-income reforms. However, national pension systems are very complicated, involving much institutional, technical, and legal elements. Consequently, international comparisons are very difficult to undertake, making it difficult to transfer policy lessons between countries. Hence, this publication aims to fill this gap, with a particular focus on countries in the Asia/Pacific regions.

This study combines rigorous analysis with clear and easy-to-understand presentations of empirical results. It does not advocate any particular kind of pension system or type of reform. The goal is to inform debates on retirement-income systems with data that people with different visions for the future of pensions can all use as a reference point.

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Coverage

The level of coverage, the proportion covered by mandatory pension schemes, in non-OECD economies ranges from 55.4% in Hong Kong to only 3.1% in Pakistan, for the population aged 15 to 64. In contrast the OECD average is 64.7% and is as high as 75.0% in Japan. For the labour force the non-OECD economies range from 78.9% to 10.3%, whilst the OECD average increases to 85.6%, with Japan again highest at 95.4%.

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