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Matching Contributions for Pensions

by Richard Hinz Robert Holzmann David Tuesta Noriyuki Takayama

The use of matching contributions to enhance the participation and level of savings in pensions system has now been in use for nearly three decades in a number of high income countries. Increasingly, countries across the full range of economic development are looking to the design as a means of addressing the low rates of participation in formal pension and other retirement savings systems. A number of countries have recently introduced innovations in their pension systems that significantly rely on contributions matches and related types of direct subsidies to provide incentives for groups that mandates and other indirect methods such as preferential tax treatment have been unsuccessful in reaching. There is particular interest among developing countries in utilizing this design to extend coverage to informal sector and low income workers that typically do not pay income related taxes. This volume provides descriptions and analysis of the design, experience and outcomes achieved in the high income countries where there information about the dynamics and outcomes that this approach has achieved is not beginning to emerge. It also reviews new efforts to use the design in a number of other settings in which the matching contributions have been included as a significant element in reform of the pension system. The review of the experience with matching contribution across this full range of settings provides important observations and some initial lessons for policy makers and analysts who may be considering or evaluating the use of this approach to increase pension coverage.

Nonfinancial Defined Contribution Pension Schemes in a Changing Pension World

by Robert Holzmann Edward Palmer David Robalino

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 Robert Holzmann Edward Palmer David Robalino

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.

Reforming Severance Pay

by Milan Vodopivec Robert Holzmann

Severance pay, a program that provides compensation to workers on termination of employment, is the most widely used income protection program for the unemployed--yet it is often blamed for creating economic inefficiencies such as reducing employment and limiting access to jobs for disadvantaged groups. Reforming Severance Pay: An International Perspective fills the knowledge gap in evaluating the international experience by providing a collection of worldwide overviews and labor market impact assessments, theoretical analyses, and country case studies. The authors summarize the performance of existing severance pay arrangements around the world and discuss recent innovative severance pay reforms in Austria, Chile, and the Republic of Korea. Reforming Severance Pay proposes policy directions based on country characteristics such as folding severance pay of higher income coun¬tries into existing social insurance programs and making severance pay a contractual affair between market partners to live up to the efficiency-enhancing device in a knowledge-based economy. For lower income countries, the authors advise reforming severance pay toward realistic benefit levels, strengthening compliance of benefit payments by the employer, and safeguarding minimum benefits. This report will be of interest to policy makers and researchers working on labor market, unemployment benefit, and pension issues; economic policy reform; poverty reduction; and social analysis and policy.

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