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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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Retirement-income Indicators

The first two indicators are both replacement rates; that is, the ratio of pension benefits to individual earnings. These are given in gross and net terms, taking account of taxes and contributions paid on earnings and on retirement incomes. The next two indicators are based on pension wealth, again in gross and net terms. Pension wealth, unlike replacement rates, reflects differences in pension ages, indexation of pensions in payment and national life expectancy. The remainder of Part I consists of at a glance analyses of coverage, life expectancy, demographics and pension spending, each of which play a key role in pension modelling.

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