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Posted: 16 May 2013 11:12:41 GMT
Though the main benchmark used to assess pension reforms continues to be the expected resulting fall in future government spending, the impact of policy changes on pension adequacy is increasingly coming to the fore. As yet, there does not seem to be a broad consensus in policymaking circles and academic literature on what constitutes the best measure of pension adequacy. While various indicators have been developed and utilised, no single measure appears to offer a clear indication of the extent to which reforms will impact on the achievement of pension system goals.
Many indicators appear ill-suited to study the effective impact of reforms, particularly those that change the nature of the pension system from defined benefit to defined contribution.
Existing measures are frequently hard to interpret as they do not have an underlying benchmark which allows their current or projected value to be assessed as adequate or inadequate. Currently used pension adequacy indicators tend to be point-in-time measures which ignore the impact of benefit indexation rules. They also are unaffected by very important factors, such as changes in the pension age and in life expectancy.
This paper argues for the use of adequacy indicators based on estimates of pension wealth (i.e. the total projected flow of pension benefits through retirement) calculated using more realistic labour market assumptions. These measures are used to give a better indication of the effective impact of pension reforms enacted since the 1990s in ten major European countries. They suggest that these reforms have decreased generosity significantly, but that the poverty alleviation function remains strong in those countries where minimum pensions were improved. However, moves to link benefits to contributions have raised clear adequacy concerns for women and for those on low incomes which policymakers should consider and tackle.
Posted: 10 May 2013 09:02:24 GMT
Developing countries are increasingly aware of the need to design and implement improvements in public systems for providing pensions to the elderly. Such systems may aim to smooth consumption and thus provide reliable income to older people, reduce poverty among the elderly, insure those no longer working against the risk of running out of funds, and promote equal treatment of men and women in retirement security even when lifetime earnings and projected average life expectancy may differ greatly. The increasing share of the elderly in the population of all countries makes implementation of sustainable pension systems both more urgent and more difficult. Planners must consider numerous options in pension system design and choose the combination of policies that will optimise coverage, benefits, and financing given a country’s demographics, history, practices regarding family support of the elderly, political system, extent of informal labour, and fiscal situation.
Posted: 07 May 2013 15:09:08 GMT
China is facing a dramatic ageing process and demographic transition as a result of declines in fertility combined with significant increases in longevity. Old-age dependency ratios are therefore projected to almost triple over three decades. Policy makers widely believe that the approach to pension provision and reform efforts piloted over the last 10-15 years is insufficient to enable China's economy and population to realise its development objectives in the years ahead.
This volume proposes a national pension system that no longer distinguishes along urban and rural locational or hukou (household registration) lines yet takes account of the diverse nature of employment relations and capacity of individuals to make contributions. The document outlines this vision, and summarises the key features of a proposed long-term pension system. It examines key trends motivating the need for reform then outlines the proposed three-pillar design and the rationale behind the design choices, examines financing options, and discusses institutional reform issues.
It concludes by saying that the pension system design can play an important role in supporting or constraining such economic and demographic transitions, highlighting that:
- fragmentation and lack of portability of rights hinder labor market efficiency and contribute to coverage gaps
- multiple schemes for salaried workers, civil servants, and, in some areas, migrants similarly impact labor markets
- legacy costs that are largely financed through current pension contributions weaken incentives for compliance and accurate wage reporting
- very limited risk pooling and interurban resource transfers limit the insurance function of the urban pension system and create spatial disparities in old-age income protection
- low retirement ages affect incentives and benefits and undermine fiscal sustainability
- relatively low returns on individual accounts result in replacement rates significantly less than anticipated while at the macro level, are likely to inhibit wider efforts to stimulate higher domestic consumption
Posted: 07 May 2013 14:47:46 GMT
In emergency situations, older people may find it hard to access food. For example, when they are displaced, older people may face difficulties in registering for the general food rations, meet challenges in accessing food distributions and difficulties transporting the food.
This document provides general guidance for the implementation of emergency nutrition activities ensuring the inclusion of older people and addressing their specific needs. Its primary target is humanitarian actors working in the field – no specific knowledge of nutrition is assumed.
While the guidance recognises the connection between nutritional wellbeing, food security and health care it does not provide guidance on programming in these areas. These can be found in other HelpAge documentation. At both global and field level, this guidance can also be used to highlight and advocate for the nutrition needs of older people in humanitarian crisis.
Posted: 02 Apr 2013 19:35:04 GMT
Population ageing affects growth through savings, capital accumulation, labour force participation, and total factor productivity. This paper examines the impact of ageing on those four channels in 12 developing Asian economies that collectively make up the bulk of the region’s population and output.
The document points that the lag between mortality and fertility declines in Asian countries gave rise to a baby boom generation that was larger than the cohorts that preceded and followed it. However, when the baby boomers reach working age, both the savings rate and the size of the labour force will shoot up.
- while developing Asia is following in the demographic footsteps of the advanced economies, the scale of the transition make preparing for a “grayer” future all the more challenging and complex
- it is projected that the region’s demographic transition will have a substantial adverse effect on its economic growth in the next 2 decades, particularly where population ageing is more advanced
- thus, the demographic dividend that drove economic growth in the past will turn into a demographic tax that will subtract from it
The paper underlines that a particular challenging issue will be to provide adequate income support and healthcare for the elderly without jeopardising growth by imposing excessive burdens on the working-age population.
- a primary means of sustaining economic growth in the future will be successful adaptations to rapidly changing population structures
- additionally, working longer and encouraging more women to participate in the labour force can mitigate the negative impact of ageing on growth
Posted: 22 Mar 2013 15:16:30 GMT
Myanmar’s population is beginning to age rapidly. According to UN projections, by 2050 older people will comprise a quarter of Myanmar’s total population. Shortly after 2035, persons aged 60 and older will outnumber children under age 15.
This document is the outcome of a national research on the situation of older people in Myanmar, carried out in 2012. It argues that Myanmar has now a window of opportunity to develop and expand creative approaches to help fill the gaps created by changing family structures, through initiatives by government,
empowered communities and civil society. The predictability of the demographic changes that lie ahead and the extensive information provided by the Survey of Older Persons in Myanmar highlight the importance of a social protection system that embraces the older population, their families and communities. This window of opportunity is limited in time and should not be missed.
Posted: 22 Mar 2013 14:16:37 GMT
Matching defined contribution schemes are gaining popularity in both rich and poor countries as a promising means to reduce gaps in the participation in formal pension systems. Matching contributions by employers, the government, or both to defined contribution schemes are used alone or jointly with other interventions to motivate participation in pension schemes.
Originating in several high-income settings there are now a number of innovations and substantial experience in low-income countries in using this design to stimulate coverage and savings. This experience now provides a rich opportunity for learning, not just from the longer experience of a few high-income countries but also the more meaningful South-South learning across developing countries.
This report reviews the experience with matching pension contributions across the range of countries that have used the design. The description and analysis of this experience which is the product of partnership and collaboration across many public and private institutions provides an early assessment of the design to inform policy makers and practitioners as well as serve as a model for the kind of cooperation that will be required to address this difficult challenge.
Posted: 16 Jan 2013 09:00:52 GMT
One area where there is similarity between the Middle East and Melanesia is demographics. Both have large, youthful populations that are tired of the status quo and leaders who have failed to manage change, including generational change of political leadership. The systems of parliamentary democracy are increasingly under pressure in Melanesia. Young people are increasingly disillusioned with barely functioning parliaments, corrupt land and resource sales and few if any employment prospects. Australia and its allies would do well to prioritise Melanesia, or risk being caught out as everyone was by the swift change that has swept through the Arab.
Posted: 22 Nov 2012 11:24:50 GMT
Malawi adds over 400,000 people each year to its population. Without a reduction in the average number of births per woman, health, education and employment services will be overstretched. This trend will continue to challenge the country’s progress to meet the Millennium Development Goals, despite current efforts to advance Malawi’s economic growth and prosperity, as described in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).
For Malawi to achieve its full set of growth and development goals, it must address population growth, and family planning is a key strategy toward achieving these goals. The primer provides information on the relationship among population growth, family planning and seven of the MGDS priorities. Each section offers facts about specific priorities, the relationship of the issue to population growth, and suggested actions for mobilisng support.
Posted: 20 Nov 2012 12:20:28 GMT
Although average incomes in China have risen dramatically since the 1980s, concerns are increasing that the rural elderly have not benefited from growth to the same extent as younger people and the urban elderly. This book explores the evolution of the rural pension system in China over the past two decades and raises a number of issues on its current implementation and future directions.
Key findings are that:
- the demographic transition is accelerating and ageing is far more pronounced in rural than in urban areas
- families will be subject to further strain to support future generations of the rural elderly
- the rural elderly have been consistently more vulnerable than the urban elderly in China, and they mostly cannot save money despite the fact that they work as long as they can
- nevertheless, there is significant difference in saving behaviours between households with and without social security benefits
The document suggests several issues need close attention in the funded portion of the rural pension system, including incentivising sustained participation of rural workers, the challenges of investment rules on funded pensions, and the low retirement ages. Moreover, it recommends the following:
- considering a stronger role for the matching subsidy as the pension system evolves
- combining funds from localities into a single pot of money to generate economies of scale in fund management
- retaining the basic benefit/social pension in order to strikes a sensible balance between poverty and incentive concerns
- building a common rural-urban design framework for pensions to help facilitate portability between systems
- harmonising fund transfer and pension disbursement procedures on the long run
In addition, the author underlines that a social pension approach should be ultimately broadly consistent with the design of the basic benefit provision under the rural pension pilot.
Posted: 20 Nov 2012 12:06:38 GMT
The number of older persons in Thailand will increase substantially during the coming decades. This paper indicates that future Thai cohorts entering the old age span will have fewer and more dispersed children to depend on while at the same time likely survive to increasingly older ages.
The paper shows that:
- national survey data has documented a steady reduction over the last decades in coresidence with children
- the data indicates a widespread preference for children to be the main care provider when a parent is too old to carry on without assistance
- the decreasing availability of children who coreside or live nearby suggests a disjuncture between the empirical reality and normative preferences
However, the Thai government is taking the challenges of population ageing seriously and may well play a larger role in the future in terms of care provision for the elderly. Moreover, the following points are drawn:
- Thai families are likely to exercise human agency to adapt to the new circumstances
- a possible arrangement could be to pay a relative in the parental locality or a trusted neighbour to take the role of caregiver if a child was unable to return
- future advances in communication technology as well as the spread of home computers are likely to mitigate the effect on social contact of increased dispersion of adult children
- improved long distance transportation will also facilitate the possibility of bringing together elderly parents and absent children when the need to meet arises
- increased economic activity among older persons may provide a substitute for filial material support in the future; therefore, it is suggested to address eliminating the current age limit
- indeed, this can advance elderly employment even in the private sector by helping establishing a new norm about the appropriate age to retire
Posted: 16 Nov 2012 09:01:09 GMT
Despite being projected to face the greatest impact of climate change, vulnerable people of the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa have inadequate access to the support services and information they need to build their adaptive capacity to an effective level. Focusing on the semi-arid region of Kenya, this study aims to: determine the perception of recent impacts of climate change; characterise the information and support services accessed by local people; identify the pathways through which information and services are accessed; and evaluate the user-friendliness of the dissemination pathways.
The methodology is explained in depth, including information on the site of the study, sampling sizes and procedures, and data collection. Vulnerable people are defined here as married women within the ages 24-60 and the elderly; the dissemination pathways explored include mass-, print- and electronic-media, and community-based channels. Technical details of the various methods of statistical analysis used are also presented.
Key findings include the following.
- Over 70 per cent of vulnerable people perceived 'severe' or 'very severe' changes in rainfall, droughts, floods and diseases in the last five years.
- High levels of illiteracy make printed dissemination pathways problematic, especially for early warning systems.
- Radio is principally used for accessing information on rainfall and diseases.
- Extension services are more comprehensive sources of information and support. Training is required, however, to help extension agents to better understand probabilities and weather reports.
- Within local government administration, the greatest concentration is on disseminating disease information, both human and livestock, through local chiefs and village elders.
- Indigenous knowledge is often accessed in reference to droughts and floods, with community members claiming to be able to make predictions on a number of indicators.
In terms of preferred methods of access overall, 88.5 per cent of women said 'radio', whilst 83 per cent of the elderly chose 'indigenous knowledge', with extension services second choice for both groups. Although radio and information communication technologies (ICTs) offer great potential, they lack the trust that comes with human contact. This means that a mix, including extension service and indigenous knowledge, should be utilised − provided key agents are identified and trained in interpreting the data.
Posted: 11 Oct 2012 12:18:40 GMT
With one in nine persons in the world aged 60 years or over, projected to increase to one in five by 2050, population ageing is a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored. It analyses the current situation of older persons and reviews progress in policies and actions taken by governments and other stakeholders in implementing the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing to respond to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing world.
The report identifies gaps and provides recommendations for the way forward to ensure a society for all ages in which both young and old are given the opportunity to contribute to development and share in its benefits. A unique feature of the report is a focus on the voices of older persons themselves, captured through consultations with older men and women around the world.
Ten priority actions to maximise the opportunity of ageing populations:
- recognise the inevitability of population ageing and the need to adequately prepare governments, civil society, private sector, communities, and families for the growing numbers of older persons, by enhancing understanding, strengthening national and local capacities, and developing the political, economic and social reforms needed to adapt societies to an ageing world
- ensure that all older persons can live with dignity and security, enjoying access to essential health and social services and a minimum income through the implementation of national social protection floors and other social investments that extend the autonomy and independence of older people, prevent impoverishment in old age and contribute to a more healthy ageing
- develop support systems which ensure that frail older persons receive the long-term care they need and promote active and healthy ageing at the local level to facilitate ageing in place
- invest in young people today by promoting healthy habits, and ensuring education and employment opportunities, access to health services, and social security coverage as the best investment to improve the lives of future generations of older persons
- Support international and national efforts to develop comparative research on ageing, and ensure that gender and culture-sensitive data and evidence from this research are available to inform policymaking
- mainstream ageing into all gender policies and gender into ageing policies, taking into account the specific requirements of older women and men
- ensure inclusion of ageing and the needs of older persons in all national development policies and programmes
- ensure inclusion of ageing and the needs of older persons in national humanitarian response, climate change mitigation and adaptation plans, and disaster management and preparedness programmes
- ensure that ageing issues are adequately reflected in the post-2015 development agenda, including through the development of specific goals and indicators
- develop a new rights-based culture of ageing and a change of mindset and societal attitudes towards ageing and older persons, from welfare recipients to active, contributing members of society. This requires, among others, working towards the development of international human rights instruments and their translation into national laws and regulations and affirmative measures that challenge age discrimination
Posted: 26 Sep 2012 09:01:23 GMT
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the potential “dividend”, “gift” or “bonus” associated with a country’s demographic transition towards a population dominated by people of working age can be quite substantial. Population structure plays a critical role in determining the relative magnitudes of labour force growth to total population growth and the consequent change in dependency ratios, which in turn impact significantly on per capita income growth. In particular, the decline in fertility rates since the 1950s has reduced total population growth and dependencies in both China and India, precipitating higher per capita income growth, or demographic dividends, in both cases. Given their very different population age structures, it comes as no surprise that the timing and magnitude of China’s and India’s demographic dividends have also differed: China’s largely lies in the past while India’s lies in the present.
Posted: 21 Sep 2012 12:31:40 GMT
This brief summarises the findings of a study on social protection of elderly in Tanzania. The study began by analysing the current status of living arrangements and material well-being of Tanzanians over 60 years of age. It then assessed the affordability of a universal pension for all persons over age 60 or 65 years, set at the food poverty line. Finally, it explored the implications of introducing an old age pension on the socio economic and political attitudes and behaviours of Tanzanians.
The study asks:
- how adequate are the current mechanisms of social protection for elderly Tanzanians
- what short term policy reponses are feasible and what long-term policies are needed
- how might reforms affect development and growth
The brief concludes that:
- Tanzanian society is likely to face escalating pressures to respond to the problem of poverty and deprivation among the elderly
- evidence from this study indicates that a universal old age pension, set at the food poverty line, would be a fiscally feasible pillar of social protection. It would have a significant impact on poverty
- the pension’s introduction would lift over three million Tanzanians out of poverty, half of whom would be children under 18 years.
- analysis strongly suggests that Tanzania is now at an optimal juncture to design and implement a long-term, sustainable system of social protection for the elderly, before the ageing issue becomes a crisis and when the size of the elderly population and the current financial cost of the reforms are relatively small
Posted: 07 Sep 2012 09:14:19 GMT
There is growing interest in the use of electronic payment (e-payment)
systems in cash transfer programmes. When cash is transferred to
beneficiaries through e-payment technologies such as mobile phone
accounts or smartcards, there is potential to cut costs and reduce
corruption compared with physical payment methods.
E-payment systems can also improve accessibility and security for programme recipients, which is important for reaching vulnerable groups including older people, the disabled, and people in remote areas. But the lack of regulatory and financial infrastructure in low income countries means that e-payment systems need substantial up-front investment. In addition, the bewildering array of e-technology platforms and providers makes it difficult for policy makers to determine whether e-payment is the most cost-effective option.
This paper discusses the issues involved and the advantages and disadvantages of e-payment systems compared with physical payment systems.
Posted: 06 Sep 2012 16:58:15 GMT
The ageing population is growing at an unprecedented rate. There are presently 740 million individuals in the world aged 60 years or over, and that number is expected to rise to 1 billion by the end of the present decade and possibly to 2 billion by mid-century. Most older people live in developing countries, where the bulk of the increase will occur.
This report covers:
- the social and economic well-being of the ageing population, documenting the demographics of older age, reviewing the economic situation of older persons, exploring health-related issues, and examining societal perceptions and the social integration of older residents
- how the diversity of situations characterising older persons in society and across the world has been taken into account, and an effort has been made to capture the evolving reality and perceptions of old age as well as older persons’ own views
- human rights norms as they pertain to older persons, incorporating several illustrative examples of how international human rights mechanisms have applied relevant norms to critical human rights issues affecting older persons
Older persons still face a number of major challenges, but the outlook for the ageing population is positive in many respects. Ageist stereotypes persist, and low levels of literacy and educational attainment have hindered the full participation of older persons in society. However, the older generation is gradually coming into its own. Within the next few decades, as the better educated younger population ages, education and literacy rates will increase significantly. Even now, as the number of older persons increases, there is a growing awareness of the importance of active ageing.
Posted: 05 Sep 2012 09:00:40 GMT
According to the study, the belief in witchcraft is strong, widespread and permeates all sectors in Malawi. Accusations of witchcraft are common and the vulnerable are most often the victims of such accusations and subsequent violence. Elderly women are at most risk of being accused of witchcraft. The means by which witches are identified are questionable. Until now, few systematic studies have been conducted to determine the extent and nature of witchcraft-based violence. This study presents detailed data collected from 8 districts, gives recommendations and is ultimately aimed to contribute to reduction of accusations of witchcraft and promotion of human rights.
Posted: 29 Aug 2012 09:39:50 GMT
Pension and social insurance programs that prevent a substantial loss in consumption resulting from old age, disability, or death are an integral part of any social protection system. The dual objectives of such programs are to allow for the prevention of a sharp decline in income when these life-cycle events take place and protection against poverty in old age. This background paper reviews the World Bank’s conceptual framework for the analysis of pension programs
and defines the major challenges facing low and middle income countries, namely, coverage, adequacy and sustainability. The paper proposes a broad, forward-looking strategy to help address these challenges.
Posted: 29 Aug 2012 09:37:49 GMT
How serious are the long-term effects of population ageing in the emerging economies of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia? This paper investigates long-term effects of population ageing in a number of emerging market economies.In most of them, the ageing process will be associated with rising dependency ratios as the share of the working-age groups in total population shrinks. The combination of an ageing and declining population is likely to reduce the effective labour supply, threatening to undermine the sustainability of their public pension and health systems. Demographic and economic data confirms the severity of the demographic crisis' consequences for fiscal sustainability. There is compelling evidence for most countries in the region to undergo wide reaching policy reforms with a focus on pension systems and labour markets. Also, the public health sector needs to be reformed with a view to increasing its efficiency.
Posted: 21 Aug 2012 14:18:31 GMT
Low and middle income countries are ageing at a much faster rate than richer countries, especially in Asia. This is happening at a time of globalisation, migration, urbanisation, and smaller families. Older people make significant contributions to their families and communities, but this is often undermined by chronic disease and preventable disability. This paper argues that social participation can help to protect against morbidity and mortality and that it deserves much greater attention as a protective factor, and that older people can play a useful role in the prevention and management of chronic conditions.
In particular the authors state that there is strong epidemiological and physiological evidence that social isolation, in particular, is as important a risk factor for chronic diseases as the ‘lifestyle’ risk factors. However, there are useful experiences of inexpensive and sustainable strategies to improve social participation among older people in low and lower middle income countries. The authors discuss their experience with forming Elders’ Clubs with retired tea estate workers in Sri Lanka and highlight the many resulting benefits, including social support and participation, inter-generational contact, a collective voice, and facilitated access to health promotion activities, to health care and social welfare services.
The papers concludes that policies to address the increase in chronic non-communicable diseases should include consideration of healthy ageing, conditions that affect quality of life, and strategies to increase social participation. There are useful examples showing that it is feasible to catalyse the formation of Elders’ Clubs or older people’s associations which become self-sustaining, promote social participation, and improve health and well-being of elders and their families.
Posted: 17 Aug 2012 09:01:11 GMT
Briefing paper looking at major concerns of Indian women, including destitution, alienation and isolation, financial and social insecurity and medical issues.
Posted: 17 Aug 2012 09:01:00 GMT
Within a few decades, steadily increasing life expectancies and lower fertility rates in Asia will produce major increases in the share of populations aged 65 and older. This document delivers key messages on how to strengthen the scientifc basis of policy development in relation to population ageing. The report argues that understanding the needs and behaviours of populations as they get older will require information and insights from a variety of specialties, including demography, psychology, sociology, economics, statistics, gerontology, and medicine.
Posted: 14 Aug 2012 11:57:03 GMT
Population ageing is a major achievement of better healthcare. But as a result, we are seeing many more people getting Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Policy-makers have been slow to see the implications of ageing for health systems, and most governments are not prepared for the dementia epidemic. However, there are some good signs. The UN’s first-ever High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases in September 2011 made a breakthrough by recognising the importance of ageing and Alzheimer’s disease.
Posted: 06 Aug 2012 21:43:32 GMT
Individuals in developing countries face a shortage of formal risk-sharing instruments and therefore rely largely on informal cash transfers from family members for insurance purposes. This paper studies the effects of introducing a social pension program to elderly informal sector workers in developing countries who lack formal risk-sharing mechanisms against income and longevity risk.
The authors find that:
- the introduction of a social pension program for informal sector workers results in significant economic distortions on capital accumulation and resource allocation between the formal and informal sectors
- for this reason, the extension of retirement benefits to informal sector workers results in efficiency losses
- nevertheless, despite these losses, recipients of social pensions experience welfare gains as the positive insurance effects attributed to the extension of a social insurance system dominate
- yet, these welfare gains crucially depend on the skill distribution between formal and informal sectors, private intra-family transfers and the specific tax used to finance the expansion
Consequently, the paper draws the following policy implications:
- a consumption tax with its broad tax base is the least distortive and generates the largest welfare gains for recipient households
- capital taxes, with their strong direct distortion of capital accumulation, generate the worst welfare and efficiency outcomes
All things considered, the authors conclude that the role of public insurance in an environment that lacks formal private and public insurance mechanisms to insure against demographic and lifetime income shocks is considerably determinant. This is especially true for elderly informal sector workers.
Posted: 04 Aug 2012 22:47:23 GMT
In principle, pension policy can provide security for older people who are in danger of falling into poverty. This paper argues that if the international community is serious about tackling old- age poverty, a social pension is the best answer we have.
The document indicates that in countries where older people cannot access a pension, most of them need to work, while the poor health and disability they may suffer from have ramifications for their income.
- public pensions have a major impact on old- age poverty ― they give older people more choice about whether to work
- pensions that benefit the vast majority of older people are more likely to be sustainable than poverty- targeted safety nets
- however, low benefit values or narrow coverage can decrease the positive impact on poverty
Conclusions are that:
- in developing countries, it is evident that non-contributory pensions with very broad coverage among the older population (i.e. social pensions) can have significant impacts on old- age poverty
- indeed, the need for social pensions will increase as populations age, and putting comprehensive social pensions in place now will enable countries to prepare for the future
The authors emphasise that tackling old- age poverty must be an important part of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Yet, ensuring access to pensions for older people is the best contribution that pension policy can make to these objectives.
Posted: 03 Aug 2012 21:38:30 GMT
The continued participation of older people in the economic life is a key factor to their own well-being as well as that of their nations on the whole. Covering Canada specifically, this paper looks at possible and appropriate policies that can accommodate the demographic fact of life.
The paper observes that demographic change is gradual, seldom having any major effect in the short term, and is rarely considered in today’s important policy decisions. Thus, unless governments adopt a comprehensive, longer-term strategy to address a looming labour shortage and future health care demands, the consequences of population aging could be deleterious.
Conclusions are that:
- population aging is largely the result of demographic momentum, so policy proposals should address the consequences of these trends rather than attempt to change the trends themselves
- yet, the growing diversity of circumstances among the elderly and the capacity of families to provide care across generations affect how the policy implications of an aging population will play out
Moreover, the author introduces three policy proposals to address the population aging challenge:
- retooling immigration systems to maximise economic benefits
- encouraging older workers to remain in the labour force
- increasing health care staffing and optimise service delivery
Specifically, in order to reduce employment barriers for older workers, the paper suggests adopting a flexible policy of phased retirement, whereby older employees can gradually reduce their workweek. Identically, it also recommends reducing incentives for early retirement and increasing incentives for flexible working hours.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 21:51:10 GMT
The proportion of older people is increasing in almost every country of the world but, by 2050, most will live in developing nations. This article wonders whether developing countries will be prepared for this demographic shift.
The paper notes that aging plans in developing countries are almost absent, and even when plans have been put in place, they are largely inadequate.
The paper highlights that:
- in fact, there has been a massive disconnect between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and ageing
- the countries now rapidly ageing have a brief window of opportunity to get these policies right for a new population age structure
- a root cause for states’ nonchalance to the ageing crisis seems to be the assumption that family units in developing countries are still fairly cohesive (i.e. they can shoulder the burden of care for older people)
- yet, this model does not take into account the capacity of family carers, and the common limitations to this capacity, such as women working and urbanisation
- actually, there is a real need to promote a social protection system that allows people to contribute during their working life and have a pension at the end of that life
The author concludes that developing countries are fast running out of time to implement adequate policy solutions to cope with their ageing populations, however, and the cracks are already starting to show.
In addition, the document demonstrates particularly the importance of establishing health plans for aging. Otherwise, many developing countries will inevitably have a large number of people whose health needs will not be adequately met.
Posted: 31 Jul 2012 23:16:02 GMT
Population ageing does raise some fundamentally new challenges, but these changes also bring some new opportunities. This article explores some potentially useful responses from government and business to the challenges posed by ageing.
The paper demonstrates that population ageing generates challenges about the pace of future economic growth, and the operation and financial integrity of health care and pension systems. Yet, ageing implies that people have much more extended working years.
The authors deem that the “key” in this relevance is adaptation on all levels: individual, organisational, and societal.
- moving from pay systems that are seniority-based to ones that are performance-based will invariably lead to a relaxation of corporate norms surrounding age at retirement
- in the same fashion, allowing people more freedom of choice regarding the timing of retirement is a good starting point for public policy reform
- in designing business organisations of the future, the private sector should anticipate, rather than passively await, the trend toward longer life-spans and older employees
As policy implications, the document underscores that there are several policy adjustment options to encourage extended working years. For example, allowing more part-time work and telecommuting will induce older workers to stay on, extending their careers by placing lighter burdens on their stamina. On the other hand, the document indicates that ongoing training will help older workers master new skills as the economy changes.
Posted: 30 Jul 2012 21:29:05 GMT
Social security systems coverage in Latin America has become a central issue in the policy debate, not only in most of the countries in the region, but also around the world. This document presents an analysis of pension coverage trends in Latin America, using empirical data from 18 Latin American countries.
Findings are as follows:
- the coverage among the active workers is still quite low in most countries, since it is lower than 30% in 8 of the 18 countries
- while the improvement observed in recent years is encouraging, rates are far from levels that could be considered acceptable in most cases
- coverage problems are greater among workers of the primary sector and the smaller firms, where the coverage is almost nonexistent, with some exceptions
- women usually have lower coverage rates than men, especially among the elderly; the cause of this gender bias seems due to differences in the labour force participation rates in the past
- nevertheless, coverage is better among the workers of the public sector, although the indicators show that coverage rates are far from 100% in most countries, pointing that compliance problems also affect the public sector
- coverage of contributory schemes is very low in most countries in the region, affecting more those living in rural areas, the poor and the less educated
The authors conclude that an important effort will be needed in most countries in the region, mainly in terms of reduction of evasion and non‐registration among salaried workers, and incorporation into the system of the self‐employed workers. On the other hand, they indicate that the analysis can be improved and expanded in the future by including the collection of new information on adequacy and sustainability of the systems.
Posted: 29 Jul 2012 21:01:41 GMT
This report informs people around the world about issues related to population, health, and the environment. The paper presents a complex picture of countries still struggling with economic challenges and inequalities, while others are making significant headway.
Some notable findings of the report are that:
- developed countries as a whole will experience little or no population growth in this century, and much of that growth will be from immigration from less developed countries
- on contrary, the world’s poorest countries will see the growth
- noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases, are now the leading causes of death in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa
- people living in low- and middle-income countries are more likely to die prematurely from NCDs than those in high-income countries
The paper recommends the creation of evidence-based policies and the dependence on active coalitions in order to progress toward positive social change.
Posted: 28 Jul 2012 20:41:11 GMT
In the mid-1990s, the Peruvian government initiated an aggressive family planning programme to address widespread poverty in the country, and female sterilisation was a publicly stated element of the programme. This paper tries to find out who was affected by the sterilisation policy, and what impact the policy had on fertility and household well-being.
The paper indicates that anecdotal evidence suggests that health workers were given large sterilisation quotas and reportedly used bribes, coercion, and even force to meet them.
- it is evident that a large increase in sterilisations took place during the suspected policy window
- it is clear that the sterilisation policy involved egregious human rights violations
- the substantial decrease in fertility caused by the policy does not seem to be associated with substantial improvements in family well-being
- there were small improvements in height for age and school enrollment for girls whose mothers were sterilised by the sterilisation policy
The document concludes the following:
- the mere reduction of fertility is not necessarily associated with substantial improvements in welfare in the context of potentially coerced sterilisations
- in general, when birth control is imposed, the benefits of making choices about fertility may not accrue to women and their households
- future family planning policies should focus on improving the choices available to women and their families rather than imposing a single contraceptive alternative
Posted: 27 Jul 2012 19:49:20 GMT
Older people account for an increasing proportion of the world’s population today, and this number continues to grow. This paper highlights that national policies and programmes should be shaped to support older people and recognise their needs for secure livelihoods, and their rights to decent work and social protection.
The author notices that most older people in low- and middle-income countries work in the informal economy, and most of them are not covered by any social protection system.
- assumptions that older people cannot or are not working must be challenged and their contributions through work and income are recognised and supported
- older people’s right to social protection must be upheld by governments through social pensions and access to affordable essential services that meet their needs
- non-contributory pensions have been found to have a significant impact on the lives of older people, yet they should part of a multilayered system delivering comprehensive social protection
- fully implement the “Decent Work Agenda” and the UN “Social Protection Floor Initiative” in the post-2015 framework
- build and use age-inclusive data sets to expose gaps in and measure poverty, inequality, capability and wellbeing across the life course at national and international level
- investment in initiatives to support older peoples’ work, including older people’s associations which increase older people’s livelihood security through empowerment, information sharing, and reduced social isolation
- improve older people’s access to information and training to enable them to explore and make use of formal and informal work and business opportunities
- encourage NGOs to develop age-friendly livelihood activities including revolving funds and in-kind support
- advocate to government for improved representation by, and services for, older people in the workplace and at community and national level
Posted: 02 Jul 2012 09:00:28 GMT
An analysis of the determinants of care provision, looking at informal care, professional home-based care and formal nursing care.
Posted: 02 Jul 2012 09:00:24 GMT
This report on the future of the public sector pension schemes identifies policy objectives that any Government considering further reforms to the public sector pensions might aim to address, identifies a set of possible further reforms for the public sector pension schemes that the Government could consider. It also analyses a set of possible reforms against the identified policy objectives and identifies what the implications of such reforms might be for public sector employees, and for the overall sustainability of schemes.
Posted: 01 Jul 2012 09:00:58 GMT
This paper studies the relationship between demographical factors and international capital flows. It analyses the impact of ageing on foreign direct investments (FDI) and foreign portfolio investments (FPI) on a bilateral level. Results suggest that the current and future age structure of the nation has significant effect on current international capital flows.
Posted: 01 Jul 2012 09:00:00 GMT
Formal old age care is a supplement to informal old age care and not its substitute, and it is increasingly being felt that the two forms of care should be woven together. This paper looks into various aspects of the old age pension debate and related policies in India. It analyses issues such as the identity of the drivers of change, the political context in which policies emerged, the intrinsic relationship between poverty and old age problems, state ideology and the design and implementation of related policies.
Posted: 01 Jul 2012 08:59:54 GMT
Cash transfers are increasingly seen as a popular form of social protection, representing a solution to reducing absolute poverty and food insecurity for vulnerable groups. The Swaziland Old Age Grant (OAG) was introduced in 2005 as a universal grant to all Swazi citizens over 60 years of age, many of whom are caring for orphaned children in their households. This study assesses what impact the OAG has had at household level, and discusses the mechanisms by which the OAG has been delivered since its inception. The report argues that the OAG has proved to be a valuable social protection intervention for reducing the absolute poverty and food insecurity experienced by so many of the elderly, and their households. The administrative system and institutional framework for the registration of beneficiaries and disbursement of cash has been established, efforts need to be maintained to continue increasing the value of the transfer.
Posted: 01 Jul 2012 08:59:51 GMT
Two aspects of ageing of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean are of particular concern. One is that the population is ageing faster in the region than it did historically in developed countries. The other is the regional context of unrelenting inequality, weak institutional development, the poor coverage and quality of social protection systems and the high demands placed on the family to provide security and protection. This book examines the ageing phenomenon from the demographic perspective, the guaranteeing of human rights in old-age and the public policies that the countries of the region are deploying. It sets out the framework of rights-based social protection policies and how they apply to the particular situation of the elderly population and looks at the status of older persons in terms of income security, access to health and inclusive environments. It examines the impacts of population ageing on pensions, health and social services.
Posted: 30 Jun 2012 09:01:15 GMT
The provision of care for older people exists at macro (national) and micro (individual or family) levels. This paper argues that these different levels are not mutually exclusive. On the one hand, products of macro level national policies, regulations and programmes must be compatible with the needs of target groups. Policy makers need to be well informed of what is really happening in people’s lives at the micro level. Individuals should be more aware of and better informed about programmes, regulations and activities that are relevant and useful to their interests. This paper also highlights the important role civil society groups can play in bringing macro policies and programmes into the day-to-day lives of the target groups and in helping those people to voice their concerns and interests at high-level forums.
Posted: 30 Jun 2012 09:00:57 GMT
This paper investigates how educational attainment may affect the prevalence of disability among older Koreans, a population for whom the association between health and education has been little studied. It performs descriptive and logistic regression analysis on five nationally representative data sets, all collected between 2004 and 2006, regarding education and disability among Koreans at least 65 years of age. It finds the relationship between education and disability to be strongest between less than primary school graduates and primary school graduates. Beyond the primary school level, the educational gradient on disability is weak.
Posted: 30 Jun 2012 09:00:50 GMT
Since the early 1990s, conditional cash transfers (CCTs) have been adopted by countries across Latin America as central elements of their poverty reduction strategies. CCTs share three components in common: a cash transfer, a targeting mechanism, and conditionality. This paper analyses the CCT experience in six countries that were among the first to introduce such policy instruments: Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, Chile. It reveals the variety of CCT parameter design options, showing how CCT transfer amounts and coverage, targeting mechanisms, conditionalities and institutional configurations vary in practice.
Posted: 29 Jun 2012 09:02:56 GMT
HIV may affect the elderly in a number of ways. They may become infected themselves; their children may suffer prolonged illness and incapacity, and need the elderly to look after them; the same children may then die from the illness, leaving the elderly without the support of the next generation; this bereavement also leaves the older people to meet funeral costs and then to take care of orphans left behind. HIV has impacts on old people in ways that are social , economic, psychological and physical in nature.
Posted: 27 Jun 2012 09:01:37 GMT
This report of a survey in camps in north-eastern Kenya shows that older people are vulnerable to malnutrition but often not recognised as such. It recommends how to measure older people’s nutritional status.
Posted: 27 Jun 2012 09:00:54 GMT
The century from 1950 to 2050 will have witnessed the highest global population growth rate ever, the largest voluntary fall in the global population growth rate ever, and the most enormous demographic shift ever between the more developed and less developed regions. In the coming half century, according to most demographers, the world’s population will grow older, larger (albeit more slowly), and more urban than in the 20th century, but with much variance within and across regions. This paper reviews important demographic trends expected to occur between 2010 and 2050, indicates some of their implications for economic and global development, and suggests some possible policies to respond these trends and implications.
Posted: 27 Jun 2012 09:00:43 GMT
Migration can be a positive factor in the development of countries of origin through two main channels - remittances and return migration. But, in looking at five countries (Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia) this report shows how the global financial crisis has aggravated the already difficult employment situation in North and West Africa. There is little incentive for migrants to return to their home countries, and this paper looks at how to make migration, employment and development mutually supportive.
Posted: 26 Jun 2012 09:03:00 GMT
The 2008 Global Crisis and demographic trends in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore has increased the urgency of reforming their pension systems for enhancing financial, fiscal, and economic sustainability over a long period, and mitigating possible adverse economic impacts. As national and international mobility of labor becomes more pronounced, the implications of superior pension benefits for civil servants and the military personnel as compared to private sector workers merit review.
Posted: 26 Jun 2012 09:02:40 GMT
This study is a theoretical exercise for Colombia that aims to simulate a variety of scenarios under a hypothetical scheme similar to the pension multi-funds currently in operation in Chile, Mexico and Peru.
Posted: 26 Jun 2012 09:02:16 GMT
Large cohorts of young adults are poised to add to the working-age population of developing economies. Despite much interest in the consequent growth dividend, the size and circumstances of the potential gains remain under-explored. This study focuses on India, which will be the largest individual contributor to the global demographic transition ahead. The main finding is that there is a large and significant growth impact of both the level and growth rate of the working age ratio. The results imply that a substantial fraction of the growth acceleration that India has experienced since the 1980s—sometimes ascribed exclusively to economic reforms—is attributable to changes in the country’s age structure. With the future xpansion of the working age ratio concentrated in some of India’s poorest states, income convergence may well speed up, a theme likely to recur on the global stage.
Posted: 24 Jun 2012 09:18:29 GMT
Many developing countries are seeing a rapid growth of residential care homes for older people. In the main, these are small-scale, informal and entirely unregulated. This raises serious concerns about the wellbeing and rights of older residents.This briefing paper draws on recent research in Argentina which identifies a wide range of problems with the quality of care provided by residential homes, including excessive use of medication and restraints, questionable processes of admission and limited support for dependent residents.The briefing paper highlights the following key policy lessons and the full briefing paper is available to download from www.uea.ac.uk/dev/publications/briefings