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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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Net replacement rates

Net replacement rates show greater diversity than the gross replacement rates. They range from 14.4% in Indonesia to 84.7% in China. These are the extremes for average earners but findings are also given at 50% and 200% of average earnings. Replacement rates generally decline as earnings increase, though Malaysia, Viet Nam and Italy do not follow this premise, and are usually higher for men than for women. Results for China and Pakistan are amongst the highest especially for low and average earners. As with gross replacement rates Indonesia and is at the bottom of the rankings.

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