Update: Sinaloa is added to the universal pension list.
The Governor of Oaxaca, when he launched a universal pension in 2011, claimed that his state was the first to follow the path of Mexico City in providing a cash pension to all elderly residents, regardless of their employment history, income or assets. Here is the assertion, from a government press release issued at the time, that is still available at the internet portal of the government of Oaxaca.
Por primera vez, en toda la historia del estado, habrá cobertura universal a las personas de la tercera edad, mediante el Programa Estatal de Pensión Alimentaria para Adultos Mayores de 70 años y más del Programa Bienestar, el cual beneficiará a 33 mil hombres y mujeres con apoyos económicos, de salud, seguro de vida y otros servicios. ….
Con el inicio de este importante Programa … Oaxaca se convirtió en el segundo estado, después del Distrito Federal con cobertura total en apoyo a los adultos mayores.
Government of Oaxaca, “Gabino Cué inicia entrega de tarjetas Bienestar a 33 mil Adultos Mayores“, 3 August 2011
And here is my rough translation of the text.
For the first time in the history of the state, there will be universal coverage of elderly people, thanks to a State Food Allowance for Seniors 70 years of age and older, which will benefit 33,000 men and women with economic support, health care, life insurance and other services. ….
By initiating this important program … Oaxaca became the second state, after Mexico City to have full coverage in support of the elderly.
The claim that Oaxaca in 2011 was the first state to follow the example of Mexico City is false. Chiapas in 2007 introduced a universal pension, with a cash benefit of 550 pesos a month for all residents from the age of 64. This is a remarkable achievement because Chiapas is the poorest state of the Mexican union, ranking just below Oaxaca. at the very bottom in both per capita income and the Human Development Index. Failure to mention Chiapas might be an honest error. The pensions of Chiapas have received little attention in the media, so it is possible that Governor Gabino Cué was unaware of universal pensions in Chiapas, even though the state borders his own.
The claim is also incomplete. Mexico City and Chiapas provide pensions to every resident who qualifies by age (68 in Mexico City, 64 in Chiapas). From age 70, the elderly are entitled to two pensions: one from the local government and another from the federal government. These ‘double pensions’ provide a total cash income of 1,435 pesos (US$112) a month in Mexico City and 1,050 pesos (US$82) in Chiapas. Oaxaca, in contrast, like Sinaloa, provides pensions only to those over the age of 70 who are excluded from the pension-tested federal 70+ scheme. In Oaxaca and Sinaloa, then, elderly residents receive a cash pension of 500 pesos (US$39) either from the state or from the federal government. Oaxaca and Sinaloa attain
s universal coverage only by combining two pension-tested schemes that operate at distinct levels of government.
It is true that the elderly of Mexico have access to universal pensions only in Mexico City, Chiapas and -now- Sinaloa and Oaxaca. But the effort of the government of Oaxaca – laudable though it is – is not comparable to that of Mexico City or Chiapas. It is, though, comparable to the effort of Sinaloa.