From this month’s International Update, published by the Social Security Administration of the United States:
Recently, the United Nations released Reforming Pensions in Developing and Transition Countries—a series of country case studies that updates the global discussion on pension reform. According to the study, since World War II, there have been two significant trends in pension reform:
1. the introduction of privately managed individual account programs that supplement or replace existing public programs (beginning in the 1980s in more than 30 countries), and
2. the rapid growth of universal noncontributory pension programs as the preferred public policy tool for alleviating poverty among older populations in both developing and transition countries [emphasis added].
The study finds that despite the ever-changing nature of national pension programs, driven by demographic and fiscal considerations, coverage levels around the world remain extremely low, with only 50 percent of the working population covered in Latin America; 30 percent in Asia, North Africa, and the Caribbean; and less than 15 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa. And, even when populations enjoy a higher level of pension coverage, as in the former republics of the Soviet Union, benefit levels may not be high enough to move older persons above the poverty line.
US Social Security Administration (SSA), “United Nations”, International Update, November 2014. (Scroll down to end.)
The publication referred to is
Reforming Pensions in Developing and Transition Countries, edited by Katja Hujo (Palgrave Macmillan/United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, August 2014).
The full 369-page book can be purchased from eBooks.com for 132.00 Canadian dollars plus tax (or equivalent in other currencies) at eBooks.com. You can preview the first 37 pages, without charge, here.
I am eager to discover how UNRISD defines “universal noncontributory pension programs”. I suspect that they include all noncontributory pensions, universal or not. I will let readers of TdJ know my finding once I obtain access to the full report.