Costs of Japan's Aging Population (December 26, 2000)
This article, published in The New York Times, shows the
far-reaching conservative interpretation of financing pension in Japan.
The main theme that emerged from the Japanese budget is the increase in
pension payments. Indeed, Japan's population is growing older: it has the
lowest birthrate of any developed nation. The Finance Ministry's balance
sheet shows that the pension liabilities are close to the nation's annual
economic output of 500 trillion yen (about $4.4 trillion). the aging of
Japan will be a severe problem for the government's finance. We suggest
reader examine the rhetoric of privatization embedded in this piece.
Rethinks Its Pensions (December 26, 2000)
This article taken from The New York Times, provides a general and
updated background on the European situation regarding pensions.
Persistent Thorn for Europe: Funding of Pensions (December 27, 2000)
This article assesses the situation in European countries regarding
pension fund systems. While some countries such as Sweden have undergone
massive changes, France has put reforms on hold... The International
Herald Tribune reports.
Life Aims at Pension (December 3, 2000)
Foreign companies have been interested in taking over China’s pension
fund system. Among them is Standard Life, a company that has recently
gained licensing in Hong Kong and India. According to China Daily,
Standard Life is willing to wait for its license to operate in China, and
sees China’s complications with its own insurance system as routine for
the beginning stages.
prolongée pour les retraites (November 14, 2000)
(in French) The following article, published in the French daily newspaper
Le Monde, reports that a reform of the retirement system is still
in the air. Despite a general trend towards reform within the European
Union member states, France seems reluctant to make any move, lagging
behind. But apparently, even though the need for a sweeping reform is
acknowledged, nothing will be undertaken before the presidential
better social policies for a stronger economy ( November 09, 2000)
This article, published in The OECD Observer, permits to get
familiar with the Korean social situation. Although the traumatic economic
crisis of 1997 seems nowadays only a bad memory, further social reform is
needed in several areas in order to erase some basic weaknesses within the
social system, for example, the immaturity of the public pension system.
That’s why Korea, member of the OECD since 1996, needs to keep reforming
a certain number of social issues: trade union pluralism, labor
regulations in the public sector…
retour des quinquas (October 16, 2000)
(in French) This article from Libération analyses the fact that in
France older employees will become more and more present in firms. Indeed,
in 2015, the population of 50-65 years adults will be around 3,7 million
while the number of younger adults will decrease to 1 million. After
decades of encouraging older person to retire, French firms now start
slowly to keep them on the job. But this new situation needs more
reflection about conditions and organization of labour.
quand les réformes? (September 11, 2000)
This article from Libération urges politicians to make reforms about
pensions. The demographic changes require either an increase in
contributions or a decrease of the pensions’ coverage, but also an
increase of the retirement’s age. The author suggests that the reform is
an issue of equality between generations, and not between rich and poor.
: Open the door to immigration (September 5, 2000)
This article from The Financial Times describes how foreign
workers, both skilled and unskilled, will be needed in the workplace to
prevent the proportion of pensioners from outnumbering working-age people
in the European Union.
Closings in China Arouse Workers to Fury (August 31, 2000)
This article from The New York Times shows how unemployed
Chinese workers find themselves in an extremely difficult financial
situation due to the lack of a social security net for the unemployed as
well as the elderly.
pensions face a bleak future (August 23, 2000)
In this Financial Times article, Horst Siebert, president of the
Kiel Institute of World Economics, demonstrates how European governments
must adopt a partially privatized pension system to enable the political
viability of the welfare system reform.
Reform to Increase (August 27, 2000)
The difference in China’s pension fund revenue and expenditures totaled
7 billion yuan, or about 843 million dollars in 1998. Because China’s
elderly population is projected to increase, the current pay-as-you-go
collection system must be improved. China Daily’s article includes
critiques of the current system and ways in which experts hope to improve
Game (August 17, 2000)
Korea has many problems to solve concerning pensions. First of all, the
social situation has changed: many older Korean workers are now retiring
early and modernization is eroding the link between generations. In the
rush to become more competitive in the international market, companies are
pushing out older, more expensive workers in favor of younger cheaper
employees. Secondly, some Koreans do not trust their public system
anymore. Recently, the collected money, which is supposed to be invested
in public interest such as welfare facilities for the elderly, was used to
buy land for government buildings. Reforms to prevent such abuse go into
effect in 2001. However, the development of a private-pension industry
appears to be opening, if only in annuities and bonds. Far Eastern
Economic Review reports.
Grow Old, Be Poor (July
A new International Labour Office
report says most world workers won't have old age pensions. The ILO
recommends pluralistic retirement systems and makes recommandations on how
countries can increase the percentage of protected workers.
Caring System (July 28, 2000)
This comprehensive article, extracted from Asian Week, shows
that the economic and social changes in Asian regarding to aging. The
author wants immediately to denounce a myth: a country which has a lot of
people reaching old age is not necessary a rich society. This article
shows examples both from rural countries and urban countries.
the Great Divide (July 28, 2000)
This article, extracted from Asian Week, argues on social
security issues. The author pledges for global social protection, which
could provides greater global prosperity.
people in rural areas need help (June 28, 2000)
70 per cent of the total ageing population is composed of rural older
residents. This China Daily article describes how increasing urban
migrations in China increase the need for a social security net among the
Security in Old Age (June 21, 2000)
Here is a document taken from the ILO's press release, dealing with old
age issues, from pension systems to social security. More
information on the subject can be obtained on the following website: www.ilo.org
The Pension System in
Argentina: 6 Years After (June 2000)
Here is a general overview of the pension system in Argentina after the
1994 reform, describing the basic features of the new system and
presenting some information on performance during its first six years. Is
it “an excellent lesson for other countries that are considering a
reform in their own systems? “
vieux salariés ont le vent en poupe (May 25, 2000)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Courrier
International, analyzes the recent phenomenon in Britain, where
companies tend to hire old persons. It also raises the question to know
whether it is a good or bad news.
modèle "bismarckien" au modèle "béveridgien" (March
(in French) In the world, two systems of retirement exist. The first
one is based on the Bismarck model, which creates a link of solidarity and
a fair sharing of wealth between generations. France , Germany and Italy
apply this model. The second one is based on the Beveridge model, which
offers a minimal rate of retirement financed by taxes; the remainder, if
any, must be contributed by the worker. This kind of retirement, which is
found in the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain, is not
safe: people could loose everything because of inflation or bad
management. Le Monde reports.
Workers Also Need Pensions (January 21, 2000)
Experts and agency leaders are asking China to expand its pension system
to employees of township enterprises. According to China Daily,
China has made pension reform a recent priority, but its current system
only benefits urban workers, leaving 125 million township workers
unprotected. As of 1998, township industries account for one third of the
rural labor force.
CRI a t-elle détourné l'argent de ses cotisants? (January 13, 2000)
(in French) This is an investigation made by a French newspaper Marianne
denounces an outrageous embezzlement by a French pension fund, the Caisse
de Retraite Interprofessionnelle. The investigation unveils the practices
of the fund marred by three big scandals.\
d'information fait au nom de la délégation du Sénat pour la
planification sur les conséquences macroéconomiques du vieillissement démographique
(December 16, 1999)(in French)
The French Senate (in the name of the planning delegation for the
Senate )published an information report about the economic planning on the
ageing macroeconomic consequences in France. What are the different
foreseeable theories? What can be made to welcome these new baby-boomers?
les vieux salariés ! (December 9, 1999)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Courrier
International, highlights a new thinking within the corporate
environment, where employers may now be less reluctant to hiring old
people, due to the demographic evolution.
Deserved Pension (November
6, 1999) (in Russian)
Data published recently by the Ministry of Labor
and Social Policy of Ukraine clearly shows that there is an elite group
among pensioners. At the same time the remaining 95% of pensioners live
below the poverty line, the elite group is comprised of former military
and police servants, public servants, prosecutors, judges, custom
servants, people with Chernobyl status, and peoples deputies. The vast
majority of pensioners, including the veterans of the World War II and the
victims of repressions, do not belong to the elite group.
Problem is Europe's Problem (September 26, 1999)
This article from The New York Times details Germany's
problems and how it will affect pension benefits.
Expectations: The Retirement Mentality vs. Reality (August 15, 1999)
This article from the New York Times shows that the different views
of people towards aging issues and what the problems actually are, can
have a great impact on how the social security system will be sustained.
en cascade sur "une génération sacrifiée" (May 24, 1999)
(in French) According to a study of “Caisse des depots” (a French
governmental organism), this article analyses the demographic issues of
retirement with an interesting economic aspect. Indeed, France is getting
older: in 2035, 31% of the population will have 60 years and more (in
1995, 19,5% only). Consequently, when the current generation of workers
will be retired, the employment and inflation rates will be high. On the
contrary, during their work time the baby boomers have known a very high
unemployment rate. Le Monde reports.
les retraites (May 24, 1999)
This article from Le Monde shows the political issues of retirement in
France. Political forces are agreed on deep reforms in few years. They
have two options: to move back the age of retirement or to create more
flexible pensions’ system. But the government’s policy is not
coherent, because in the same time it wants to favor anticipated departure
in retirement in order to drop the unemployment rate.
Mother Russia Plucks Her Pensioners Clean (May 17, 1999)
This article, extracted from The New York Times, describes the
hardships of Russian citizens who are depending upon the Government's
pension for survival.
Russian Party of Pensioners (May 1999)
A new party is established in Russia to protect the rights of pensioners.
de nos retraites" : An introduction to the Charpin Report (April
A brief introduction to a French report about retirement financing, which
was produced under the supervision of Mr Jean-Michel Charpin, Commissaire
général au Plan.
conclusions embarrassantes du Rapport Charpin (March 30, 1999)
Excerpts from the French magazine Marianne, listing the findings of
the Charpin report on the state of pensions in France with graphics
World Turns Gray (March 1, 1999)
This article, published in US News, shows how the leading
proponent of privatization of public social insurance argues his case. It
also describes the economic, demographic and social situation in the
world. For readers interested in another approach to the challenges
described in the article, consult our section on "social
Etats-Unis, les retraités ne comptent pas pour du beurre (February 25,
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Courrier
International, assesses the influence wielded by one of the most
famous organization for retired people: AARP.
in Brazil Adopt Step on Austerity (January 21, 1999)
Change in social security benefits for civil servants approved by
Indice Corregido de Rentabilidad de Ahorros Previsionales en al Sistema
Chileno de AFP
A recent paper on Chilean pension funds that made a significant impact on
the continuing debate there.
Overwhelm Shelters (December 7, 1998)
This article found in Christianity Today focuses on the
condition of homeless elderly people in Russia who are aided by the
Salvation Army. At present, the minimum pension for the elderly isonly 19$
is Gone, but Brazil's Leader May Be Back (October 4, 1998)
This article from The New York Times is about the
Brazilian President and the damage he is doing to the welfare system
to the rescue (September 10-16, 1998)
Egyptian pension and social insurance funds will be injected into stock
market, via three portfolios representing the pension and social insurance
funds of government employees, the public and private sector and the
national Investment Bank. The pension funds' investment into stock market
came from a recent cabinet ruling that overturned a long-held ban on such
use of public pension funds. The Social Insurance ministry claimed that
diversification of the investment was needed to supplement funds allocated
in the budget for pensions. But this injection could be dangerous for
pensioners who risk losing all their money in the market. Al-Ahram
Govern Their Own Retirements (July 19, 1998)
A New York Times article about the almost entirely privatized
pension system in Great Britain.
Deliberations At OECD Level - And Elsewhere (May 12, 1998)
A summary of deliberations from various OECD committees regarding
Retirement Plan In Germany May Spur Mutual-Fund Boom (April 6, 1998)
A Wall Street Journal article about a new German retirement plan
that will invest in stocks, bond and real estate.
Pension Mirage (March 23, 1998)
Excerpts from a longer article on Chile that appeared in The Nation
The Stigma of Old Age ( March 22, 2001)
This article, taken from the
World News Inter Press Service explains how the weakening of social
security systems, a tendency seen worldwide, is making the lives of the
increasingly numerous elderly more and more unhappy, according to their
few defenders in Brazil. It reveals how the elderly population is often seen as a burden or
nuisance in the eyes of the younger generation. Elder abuse has become more common.
Future of German Social Democracy (December 1997)
An excerpt of a speech given by Oskar Lafontaine, the Chairman of the
Social Democratic Party, at the SPD conference.
Old Age (June 1997)
Susanne Paul on the difficult situation of Brazilian women.
Chilean Pension Fund Associations (May-June 1997)
Article published in 1997 by Chilean authors that describes in detail the
workings of the privatized Chilean pension system.
Insecurity In Chile (February 1997)
An essay by Fred J. Solowey on Chile's privatized social security system,
drawing particular attention to some of the hardships felt by those who
fall under it.
duperie des fonds de pension au nom des entreprises? (1996)
(in French) An article that appeared in Le Monde Diplomatique and
which mainly discusses the role of pension funds in the French economy.
and Pension Reform (March 6, 1995)
A powerful critique of the Chilean reform proposals by one of the top
pension experts of the International Labour Organisation. (Paper presented
at the World Summit for Social Development).
Pension Crisis in Argentina (March 6, 1995)
An activist in the Argentine women's movement speaks of the terrible
effects of pension-cutting in her country. (Paper presented at the World
Summit for Social Development)
Worldwide Pension Crisis and 'Social Development (March 6, 1995)
Increasing poverty in later life as governments raid public pension funds
puts a lie to the Pollyanna slogans of "Social Development" and
the pretense that poverty will be reduced. (Paper presented at the World
Summit for Social Development)
Campaign Against Pension Privatization in Uruguay (1995)
How Roberto Bissio of the Instituto del Tercer Mundo in Montevideo
translated the Paul & Paul paper into Spanish and used it in a
union-based campaign against pension privatization.
Support and In-Kind Transfers: Taxation Options in Rural Russia (Spring,
This paper explores the policy challenges generated by the growing
post-retirement population in the rural areas of the Russian Federation.
The authors suggest that rural pensions should continue to be
subsidized with in-kind transfers, which are justified on both economic
and social grounds.
World Bank and the Attack on Pensions in the Global South (1994-1995)
A major paper that discusses the role of the World Bank in destroying the
public pension systems in many countries, particularly in Latin America.
Poverty and the World Bank (1994-1995)
This shorter article was written to summarize the research paper above,
but it includes additional information about fightback efforts.
Insurance & Economic Security: Is Privatization the Answer? (1981)
Text of a speech at a conference on pensions on the International Day of
Older Persons at the UN in 1996. Solowey is a labor journalist who has
written about the Chilean pension "reforms."