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Pensions at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2011

image of Pensions at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2011

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 ideological 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 detail. Consequently, international comparisons are very difficult to undertake, making it impossible 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, 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.

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Overview of Retirement-income Systems

Retirement-income regimes around the world are diverse and they often involve a number of different programmes. As a result, classifying pension systems and different retirement-income schemes within those systems is difficult. Perhaps the most well known of these taxonomies is the “multipillar” one of the World Bank (1994). In its current versions, this comprises five different pillars (Holzmann and Hinz, 2005). The focus of this report, however, is on mandatory retirement-income provision and so some of these pillars are not necessary here.

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