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From Right to Reality

by Helena Ribe Ian Walker David Robalino

This study highlights the interaction between social protection (SP) programs and labor markets in the Latin America region. It presents new evidence on the limited coverage of existing programs and emphasizes the challenges caused by high informality for achieving universal social protection for old age income, health, unemployment risks and anti-poverty safety nets. It identifies interaction effects between SP programs and the behavioral responses of workers, firms and social protection providers, which can further undermine efforts to expand coverage, summarizing evidence from recent work across the region. The book argues for a re-design of financing to eliminate cross subsidies between members of contributory programs and subsidies that effectively tax income from formal employment. It advocates well-targeted, tax-funded, tapered subsidies to provide incentives to the savings efforts of low-income workers, coupled with an effective safety net for the extreme poor who have no capacity to contribute to financing their own social protection arrangements. It also argues for the consolidation of programs and harmonization of benefits packages across different insurers. The book develops an overall conceptual framework and presents in-depth analysis of the main SP sectors of pensions, health, unemployment insurance and labor market programs, and safety net transfers.

Nonfinancial Defined Contribution Pension Schemes in a Changing Pension World

by David Robalino Robert Holzmann Edward Palmer

Nonfinancial Defined Contribution (NDC) schemes are now in their teens. The new pension concept was born in the early 1990s, implemented from the mid-1990s in Italy, Latvia, Poland and Sweden, legislated most recently in Norway and Egypt and serves as inspiration for other reform countries. This innovative unfunded individual account scheme created high hopes at a time when the world seemed to have been locked into a stalemate between piecemeal reforms of ailing traditional defined benefit schemes and introducing pre-funded financial account schemes. The experiences and conceptual issues of NDC in its childhood were reviewed in a prior anthology (Holzmann and Palmer, 2006). This new anthology serves to review its adolescence and with the aim of contributing to a successful adulthood. To this end the book offers a deep and comprehensive review of the experience of countries where NDC schemes have been in place for a decade or more, takes stock of the discussions of the place of NDCs in the world of pension reform, and addresses in detail important issues related to implementation and design, such as the of the NDC story, making transparent the legacy costs, financial accounting, balancing, creation of a reserve fund, gender, and longevity. The book also contains analyses of the pros and cons of NDC contra FDC and a typical paygo DB scheme in two Latin American countries. The key policy conclusions include: (i) NDC schemes work well (as documented by the experience of Italy, Latvia, Poland and Sweden during the crisis) but there is room to make them work even better; (ii) Go for an immediate transition to the new scheme to avoid future problems; (iii) Identify the legacy costs and their explicit financing during the transition as they will hit you otherwise soon; (iv) Adopt an explicit stabilizing mechanism to guarantee solvency; (v) Establish a reserve fund to guarantee liquidity; (vi) Elaborate an explicit mechanism to share the systemic longevity risk; and, last but not least; (vii) Address the gender implications of NDC with deeper analysis and open political discourse.

Nonfinancial Defined Contribution Pension Schemes in a Changing Pension World: Volume 2 Gender, Politics, and Financial Stability

by David Robalino Robert Holzmann Edward Palmer

Nonfinancial Defined Contribution (NDC) schemes are now in their teens. The new pension concept was born in the early 1990s, implemented from the mid-1990s in Italy, Latvia, Poland and Sweden, legislated most recently in Norway and Egypt and serves as inspiration for other reform countries. This innovative unfunded individual account scheme created high hopes at a time when the world seemed to have been locked into a stalemate between piecemeal reforms of ailing traditional defined benefit schemes and introducing pre-funded financial account schemes. The experiences and conceptual issues of NDC in its childhood were reviewed in a prior anthology (Holzmann and Palmer, 2006). This new anthology serves to review its adolescence and with the aim of contributing to a successful adulthood. To this end the book offers a deep and comprehensive review of the experience of countries where NDC schemes have been in place for a decade or more, takes stock of the discussions of the place of NDCs in the world of pension reform, and addresses in detail important issues related to implementation and design, such as the of the NDC story, making transparent the legacy costs, financial accounting, balancing, creation of a reserve fund, gender, and longevity. The book also contains analyses of the pros and cons of NDC contra FDC and a typical paygo DB scheme in two Latin American countries. The key policy conclusions include: (i) NDC schemes work well (as documented by the experience of Italy, Latvia, Poland and Sweden during the crisis) but there is room to make them work even better; (ii) Go for an immediate transition to the new scheme to avoid future problems; (iii) Identify the legacy costs and their explicit financing during the transition as they will hit you otherwise soon; (iv) Adopt an explicit stabilizing mechanism to guarantee solvency; (v) Establish a reserve fund to guarantee liquidity; (vi) Elaborate an explicit mechanism to share the systemic longevity risk; and, last but not least; (vii) Address the gender implications of NDC with deeper analysis and open political discourse.

The Right Skills for the Job?

by David Robalino Rita Almeida Jere Behrman

Creating jobs and increasing productivity are at the top of agenda for policymakers across the world. Knowledge accumulation and skills are recognized as central in this process. More-educated workers not only have better employment opportunities, earn more, and have more stable and rewarding jobs, but also they are more adaptable and mobile. Workers who acquire more skills also make other workers and capital more productive and, within the firm, they facilitate the adaptation, adoption, and ultimately invention of new technologies. This is crucial to enable economic diversification, productivity growth, and ultimately raise the standards of living of the population. This report brings new ideas on how to build and upgrade job relevant skills, focusing on three types of training programs relevant for individuals who are leaving the formal general schooling system or are already in the labor market: pre-employment technical and vocational education and training (TVET); on-the-job training (OJT); and training-related active labor market programs (ALMPs). Several previous studies have discussed some of the flaws in current systems and outlined options for reform. As a consequence, there has been a shift away from the investment in pre-vocational training courses to programs to improve access to and the quality of general secondary education. There have also been calls to encourage a stronger involvement of the private sector in the provision of training, together with increased emphasis in the quality and relevance of the content. One result has been a push to rethink the governance and financing arrangements of training institutions. But overall policies at these three levels of the training systems remain disconnected and there has not been an integrated framework linking them to the market and government failures that need to be addressed. This book makes two important contributions. First, it takes an in-depth look at the types of market and government failures that can result in underinvestment in training or the supply of skills that are not immediately relevant to the labor market. Second, building on the analysis of the limitations of both markets and governments and the results of case studies and recent impact evaluations, the report develops new ideas to improve the design and performance of current training

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