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Ten Years of Public Pensions Reform

Authors
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Political Science

Abstract

?????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????? ???????? ????????????????? ???? ???????????????? ????????????????????? ??? ????????????????????????????????? ????? Ten Years of Public Pensions Reform* W.R. McGillivray Chief, Studies and Operations Branch International Social Security Association May 2002 Introduction In a 1995 article in the International Social Security Review, “A risky strategy: Reflections on the World Bank Report Averting the old age crisis”, the late Roger Beattie and I questioned criticisms of the fundamental bases for existing public pension schemes in Averting the Old Age Crisis: Policies to Protect the Old and Promote Growth and the recipe for reform which it advocated. (Beattie and McGillivray: 1995) We contended that the recipe would require individuals to bear significant risks. In this essay, I set out my observations on the pension debate and the changes which have occurred in contributory public pension schemes since our article, and indeed over the past decade. The essay can touch on only a few issues. It is an interim personal survey of work in progress. Despite the certitude of supporters of particular pension policies and reforms that their favoured approaches will assure the provision of adequate and sustainable retirement benefits in the future, it will be three generations or more before the truth of their convictions can be known. My observations focus first on definitions – misapprehensions have led to unnecessary controversy; next the demographic and economic implications – over which there is remarkably little agreement; and then political risk – political involvement is surely inevitable. The pattern of pension reform which is traced contains brief, personal and often anecdotal observations. Pension reform issues – major issues which hold risks for individuals and for governments – include the introduction of defined contribution i

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