Policy Issues

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Abstract:

This part of the report provides an in‐depth look at the questions pension policymakers face today. It consists of four chapters.

The first examines the implications of the ongoing financial and economic crisis on pension systems. Which countries and which individuals are most affected? What can governments do to help and which policies should they avoid? The chapter presents data on the investment performance of private pensions.

The second looks at incomes and poverty of older people, examining trends over the past two decades. In many countries, the position of pensioners has improved relative to the population as a whole, but there remain pockets of old‐age poverty. This chapter also takes a look forward, showing how changes in economies, societies and pension systems might affect incomes and poverty of today's workers when they reach old age.

The third sets the changes to pension systems announced in the period between 2004 and the end of May 2009. Nearly all OECD countries have reformed pensions in recent years, addressing issues of adequacy of retirement benefits, long‐term sustainability of pension systems and the efficiency of retirement‐income provision.

The final special chapter considers coverage of voluntary private pensions, looking at how this varies with age and earnings. The ongoing financial crisis has dealt a heavy blow to private retirement savings, but private pensions will remain part of the equation when providing for old age. This chapter evaluates five different policies.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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