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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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Support ratio

Asia is predicted to have a higher rate of increase in the old-age support ratio than the OECD as a whole, though Korea is a notable exception. The percentage of the population aged 65 and over in Malaysia, Pakistan and the Philippines is projected in 2100 to be about five times the level in 2010. All of the remaining non-OECD economies have a projected increase of at least 180% over the 90 year period, compared to the OECD countries which predominantly have an estimated increase of less than 100%.

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