Want to support Global Action on Aging?

Click below:


Pension: World

Archives: 2001


Mercosur Chiefs Issue Statement In Support Of Argentina (December 21, 2001)
The Presidents of Mercosur trade block countries, met today, December 21, to express their solidarity over the recent events in Argentina. They requested foreign aid and called for a democratic solution to the situation.

Argentina's Senate Leader, Puertas, Takes Power as Interim President (December 21, 2001)
After Mr. de la Rua resignation from his presidency late Thursday, Mr. Puerta will serve as temporary president until a legislative assembly decides when to call for new elections in the months to come. Mr. de la Rua blamed the opposition party of refusing to join him in a national unity government, which led to his resignation. Analysts predict the new government will most likely end the Argentine peso's one-to-one attach with the dollar. Devaluation of the peso could mean serious bankruptcy for many Argentines.

Argentine State of Siege Lifted as New Leader Is Being Chosen (December 21, 2001) 
Yesterday after President Fernando de la Rua efforts to unite with the opposition party were rejected, he declared his resignation. Violent protest followed his resignation, bringing the death tool to 21.Argentine state of siege was lifted and its future is now in the hands of the opposition party, who are faced with a country lacking a coherent economic and monetary strategy, and with no consensus as to what should be done.

Brazil's Real Ends At BRR2.340 (December 21,2001)
Brazilian market reaction to the Argentine meltdown was a positive surprise. The real only slightly weakened, and its local currency ended up BRR 2.340 to the dollar. Brazilian President and Central Bank Chairman Arminio Fraga said a further damage would be improbable, since Argentine crisis has already taken place. But some analysts do not seem to be so optimistic, they believe more damage could come, and the real is likely to weaken in the months to come.

Argentina's Economy Minister Resigns;16 Killed in Anti-Government Protests (December 20, 2001) 
Sixteen people were killed and more than 150 were injured in two days of anti- government unrest in Argentina. Outside of the government house a 75 years old doctor quoted “ We are fed up with corruption, hunger and poverty, we’re living in”. “ I think that if they don’t go, the people will kick them out.” A state of siege was declared by the Argentine President Fernando de la Rua for a period of 30 days to guarantee order. Economy Minister Domingo Carvallo resigned his post, worsening the situation. Agreement on the Budget will be necessary to insure that the IMF will release $ 1.3 billion in emergency loan.

Americas & International Economy: Argentine budget dispute imperils loans (December 17, 2001): 
Argentine Legislators are threatening not to co-operate with government budget plans, jeopardizing an agreement with the IMF and bringing the country closer to default. The Congress has to approve the 2002 budget proposal if Argentina wants to win the IMF’s $1.26 billion funds, which they are not willing to do. Carlos Ruckauf, governor of Buenos Aires province agrees to the idea to impliment a new currency a long side the dollar and the peso, but which would not be convertible. This new currency would replace bonds to pay workers.

Capital flight keeps Argentine stock above water (December 12, 2001) After last week’s imposition of banking controls, a new fiscal package will be revealed this week to remove tax incentives for local business. The country’s risk premium was at a rating level that suggests investors view default as certainty, giving strong expectations that Argentina will have to replace its currency with the dollar or devalue. Therefore some wealthy Argentines are choosing to avoid these controls through the stock market, buying shares listed in Buenos Aires and selling it in New York, with the proceeds safely deposited in New York Bank. Obviously, this option does not exist for workers or the poor.

The Americas: Argentina appropriates pension funds to pay bills risk of default: (December 7, 2001)
The Argentine government seized $3.5 billion from private pension to pay the bills and keep up payments. This is because the IMF denied a loan to Argentina of $ 1.6 billion, due in the middle of December because of Argentina’s economic slow down. This way Argentina will have to reply on the savings to be able to pay its debts.

Brazil's Congress Studies 22% Minimum Wage Hike For 2002 (December 7, 2001)
Brazil is now studying to increase the country’s minimum wage by up to 22% in 2002, costing about BRR 4.5 billion. And an 11% wage hike to BRR 220 a month, which would raise benefits that are tied to the minimum wage.

Le COR remet à Lionel Jospin les clés d'une future réforme des retraites (December 6, 2001)
(in French) According to a new report made for the French government, as life expectancy is increasing, people over 55 must be encouraged to work longer and employers must be encouraged to hire them and not to fire them on the basis of age. The French pension system needs changes and strategies to be able to face or prevent problems in the next 40 years and this is a proposed strategy to address this issue.

La Cour européenne de justice accorde les mêmes droits au fonctionnaire retraité, homme ou femme (December 4, 2001)
(in French) In a judgment made on November 29, 2001, the Court of Justice of the European Community decided that the men retired from the civil service who brought up children could get the same privileges for their pensions as women. This decision is based on the principle of equality of salaries between men and women.

A well-timed retirement can make parting that much sweeter 
(November 27, 2001)

When to retire is a personal decision, but one which should be well planed so to be entitled to receive the well deserved retirement check. As speculated by this article the best date would be on the first 3 days of the month.

Union sieht Sozialversicherung vor dem Aus (November 21, 2001)(in German)
" Social security lies in the intensive care unit, " warns Frederick Merz, the German most powerful Union leader. In anticipation of the election campaign, the Federal Government has been reproached not for not addressing the high deficit in the social security. It is the most terrible crisis in 40 years, said Frederick Merz and the CSU-social expert Horst Seehofer in Berlin. They say the responsibility for the misery carries the current government.

Le Conseil d'orientation des retraites pousse à engager des réformes de grande ampleur (November 21, 2001)
(In French) This article from the French newspaper Le Monde discusses the attempted changes in the French pension system. Representatives from unions, experts and deputies wrote an official report with interesting proposals.

Pension Fund Taxes To Erode Brazil's Savings And Growth 
(November 9, 2001) 

Brazil’s supreme Court has ruled that the government should impose other taxes on pension in addition to what is already paid by the pensioners. This may cause even more damage to the economic growth of the country, even though it may prove the government with much of the money need.

Retraites : une étude note l'aspect "suicidaire" de l'attentisme 
(October 15, 2001)

(in French) As reported in the French newspaper Le Monde, a study shows us that in the next forty years, without an important reform of the French pension system, there will be an increase of tensions between generations. The authors suggest that the French must reduce the differences between young and older people to make their present and future lives better.

Company pensions face shortfall (August 21, 2001)
A new study revealed that the pension schemes of many Britain workers could be face to bankrupt.

Consumers angry at 'pension trap' (July 31, 2001)
This story shows how the British government is meeting huge troubles with retirees. The personal pension they advocated wasn’t as safe as was said. Lots of money invested in this annuity has been lost.

Argentine Senate approves cuts (July 30, 2001)
According to CNN News, Argentina’ Senate has approved controversial measures designed to balance the budget and revive the economy. The plan includes cuts up to 13 percent in pensions and public employee wages, and has led to anger by union leaders and public workers, who recently held a 24-hour national strike in protest. 

L' éphéméride. Ne battons pas en retraite (July 5, 2001)
(In French) This article in L'Express discusses the uncertain future of pensions in France. The current pensions are based on repartition, meaning that current pensions are paid by current incomes, symbolizing the solidarity between generations. However, in this article, alternative systems are discussed, such as a pension system based on capitation or the creation of a national pension fund, or a combination of different systems to secure the future of pensions.

International Labour Review (June, 2001)
This article addresses issues pension policy in Central and Eastern Europe and social security contributions. 

Affluent Pensioners are Part of the Norm (June 25, 2001) 
Receipt of an occupational pension is one of the most important factors which has influenced the decline in poverty among pensioners, states The Pension Week.

Ukrainian President Kuchma Calls the Pensioners to Leave the Government (June 25, 2001) (in Russian).
.Kuchma calls the government representatives who are eligible to receive pensions to leave the Government. The Kommersant reported that these representatives were given one of two options: either retire or give up their salary.

Hay 80 mil Nuevos Jubilados por Temor a la Reforma (June 18, 2001)
(In Spanish) This article, printed in Clarin of Argentina, brings attention to a current issue concerning pensions. Since 180 thousand people will retire this year in Argentina, a substantial number of retirees still wonder about their government’s reforms and how those reforms will directly affect them.

Cutting State Holdings: A Descent Plan (June 16, 2001)
In an effort to further reform its social security system, China has decided to implement a plan to require all state-owned firms to contribute a percentage of their shares to fund the national pension system. China Daily reports that steps are being taken to make sure that both the stock market and the private firms will have a long term benefits from the plan. 

Social Security Network Being Woven Nationwide (June 13, 2001)
Economists believe that China now has the means to implement a new social security system. The Beijing Review reports that China’s current welfare system depends on enterprises, individual workers, and the state. Multiple sources have commented that the government is working on updating the system to cover pensions, medical care, and unemployment. The government is eliciting help from the public and the state. 

Demandan Pagos (June 12, 2001)
(In Spanish) New demands for social security emerge in Venezuela. In these four articles, published in El Universal, retirees are insisting that they should be given their pensions. The General Assembly extended the outcome of the Regulatory Law for health, pension, and social security plans, until December 31, 2001. Even though the back pay for pensions has not been issued out so far, this is a good step for retirees and the country as a whole.

El Delito de Ser Mayor (June 12, 2001)
(In Spanish) In Argentina the mismanagement of private pensions funds has provoked the destabilization of their social system. This article, published in La Nacion in Argentina, reports that an alarming 3 million elderly people will be left with no pension plan. 

Welt-Lesertelefon: Private Vorsorge ist unerlässlich (June 11, 2001)
(in German) This article, taken from Die Welt, tries to answer some readers’ questions about the complexity of the new German pension reform. Experts exhort Germans to take their time before making any decisions and to review some of the main points of the bill that may be difficult to understand. 

Mexico's Bancrecer Calls for Pension Fund Bids (June 11, 2001)
This article in Business Week, informs on the bid for Bancrecer-Dresdner pension fund in Mexico.

OECD praises Brazil reforms (June 7, 2001)
After a long period of reforms Brazil is finally experiencing economic growth, improving inflation and opening its economy to foreign trade, but it should not sit back since its economy is still vulnerable. This article offers opinions on how Brazil can try to reduce its social inequality. Cutting pensions does not appear to be a good formula for reducing social inequalities.

Vervroegd pensioen niet in trek ( June 5, 2001)
According to De Standaard, only 50 percent of Belgian officials above 55 who are eligible for early retirement choose this option, which demonstrates that 50 percent of officials prefer to continue working and retire at the age of 65. 

Les Groupes Financiers Allemands Veulent Profiter de la Reforme des Retraites ( June 1, 2001)
(in French) This article, taken from the French newspaper Le Monde, notices the rush of German financial groups to take advantage of the recent Pension reform. Although the public oversight agency in charge of certifying the new savings products has not yet even been created, tough competition has already emerged between professionals in the financial field. That’s why government, labor organizations and consumer protection warn the public against signing up for the new deals of so many retirement plans.

Social security reform delay could derail eurozone goals ( May 29, 2001)
This article, taken from the English version of the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, warns the reader against the eventual consequences of a continual delay of the social security system reform concerning the European Union and especially the Eurozone. The financial services industry spokesperson made this claim while unionists suggested higher taxes for the rich and catching “deadbeats” who had avoided paying their contributions. And this “social security time bomb” can explode at any moment if the reform isn’t introduced soon, what necessitates an agreement within the population.

Welke rol is er voor 50-plussers in de actieve welvaartstaat?  ( May 24, 2001)
(In Dutch) In light of the European policy to achieve an employment activity rate of 70 percent by the year 2010, the Belgian government has provided incentives to reallocate older persons to the working market according to De Standaard. As such, employees are enticed to avoid early retirement and older persons are provided with equal opportunities.

Actieplan moet sociale zekerheid toegankelijker maken  ( May 23, 2001)
(In Dutch) According to De Standaard the Belgian government has adopted an action plan to simplify the Belgian Social Security system to improve access and to obtain a more client-focused system. One of the measures taken in view of this action plan is the automatic provision of pensions to beneficiaries which will guarantee them an income when they reach pension age. 

"Ein Vorbild fuer die Amerikaner" ( May 22, 2001)
(in German) This article, taken from the German newspaper Die Welt, reports an interview with Joseph Stiglitz, who has worked at the World Bank and earlier in Clinton’s administration. He recommends that the USA consider the German social reform as a model because of its combination of capitalization and the protection of those placements by the government. But would it be a successful example for the first democracy having transformed the basic principles of its social system? Only the future can tell us.

Nouveaux Regimes de Retraite ( May 22, 2001)
(in French) This article, excerpt from the French newspaper Le Monde, is a clear analysis of the social reform occurred in three European countries (Luxembourg, Germany, Sweden). From these three different examples it can be concluded that, however the reform is conducted, it necessarily implies transitory measures to gain people’s trust, added to measures in favor of the poorest.

La nécessité d'une réforme des retraites (May 18, 2001)
(in French) According to a survey, in France, in 2011, the population under 20 will be less numerous than the population over 60. The French government is looking at reforms in the pension system to face this decrease of workers who pay for the larger number of pensioners.

Und ewig lockt das Ruhegeld ( May 18, 2001)
(in German) This article, taken from Die Zeit, tries to make the reader understand how the German pension reform will be applied. With the new law in place, consideration must be given to sales practices. Besides, the authors underscore the delay of a new administration that will be responsible for checking the practices of private insurance companies. Even if they believe in the large investment in private pensions, they warn the German population not to invest in the first presented contract. Rather, they advise people to compare the offers to avoid unscrupulous tricks.

La nécessité d'une réforme des retraites (May 18, 2001)
According to a survey, in France, in 2011, the population under 20 will be less numerous than the population over 60. The French government is looking at reforms in the pension system to face this decrease of workers who pay for the larger number of pensioners.

Proposal to reform the French pension system (diagnostic phase)( May 17, 2001)
This text, taken from the web site “The International Reform monitor” (, analyses clearly the stakes of the proposed reform of the French pension system. Knowing the urgency of solving one of the biggest demographic world issues, France needs to rethink its traditional pension schemes, what will include, according to this proposal, a gradual increase of the duration of the contributions. But the agreement is still far from being reached.

GSEE to press home advantage ( May 15, 2001)
This text, selected from the English edition of the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, is announcing the general strike of the 17th May. The strike will assert the claims of the Trade union umbrella body about social security reform. While the government favors lowering pensions and putting off the retirement age, the ruling union, called the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), and the popular opposition want an increase of state financial support. Moreover, the population seems very concerned about this reform, as the strong mobilization will show for the second strike in three weeks. Besides, an interesting point of view from the former national economic Minister, Giorgos Soufflias, is to be noticed in another article taken from the same newspaper.

L'Allemagne introduit une dose d'épargne individuelle pour réformer ses retraites ( May 13, 2001)
(in French) This text, published in Le Monde, reports the definitive adoption of the German pension reform by the "Bundesrat", which is the higher chamber of the Parliament. This reform, considered as a political victory of Schroeder’s government, means a complete revolution within the traditional system of assistance for elder people. In fact, it introduces a part of individual capitalization based on voluntarism, which will be helped financially by the government at the beginning.

Germany passes Law setting up System of Private Penions (May 11, 2001)
(In German) This article in Die Welt discusses the new German law, which introduces a historic revision of the country’s pension system. As such, the new law will allow taxpayers to make their own decisions on where some of their retirement funds are invested. The new German pension law will function as a “second pillar that will help to keep the roof over the German pension” according to Chancellor Schröder.

Volkswagen joue les éclaireurs en matière de retraite (May 10, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde, reports the "bold" initiative undertaken by the German automaker Volkswagen, which has decided to implement a pension fund based on the Anglo-Saxon model before the new law on pension funds has even been adopted (see article: La métallurgie allemande s'empare de la loi sur les fonds de pension). Workers will still have the possibility to choose between the two systems but will they reap the benefits of such a change? One thing is sure: this will definitely alleviate the labor costs for Volkswagen...

La métallurgie allemande s'empare de la loi sur les fonds de pension (May 10, 2001)
(in French) In this article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde, Germany is about to adopt a new law aiming at  widely introducing pension funds in the workplace. One of the most powerful metallurgy trade union in Germany in cooperation with the employers' union already intend to introduce a pension fund based on the Anglo-Saxon paradigm. Will this across-the-board privatization ever stop? Obviously, for the time being, it is on the wrong track. 

Retraite, mode d'emploi (May 7, 2002)
In this article from a French newspaper, Le Figaro Economie, you will find an explanation of the French pension system. As the French population is aging, politicians and citizens are considering reforms …

Retirement Funds Enter Market, 養老基金短期難入市(May 6, 2001)
(in Chinese) Mingpao News reports that the Chinese government is considering putting its retirement mutual funds on the market.  Critics believe that the stock market is weak, offers limited choices, and has yet to reach a stable level.  The potential risk involved with the current market leads some experts to fear that seniors will lose their hard earned money.

Un 1er mai dédié aux conflits sociaux (May 1, 2001)
(in French) This article, from Le Monde, shows that the workers day’s parade in France was organized this year in a context of crisis. The trade unions’ first preoccupation was the fight against employers who fired thousands of people while their firms got huge benefits. Despite the context, trade unions claimed retirement after 37 years of work.

Les grands patrons français réfléchissent déjà à l'après-Seillière (April 27, 2001)
(in French) This article, from Le Monde, shows the difficulties of the president of MEDEF.  Mr. Seillière must face to the problems of management in his own business and the critics of his strategy of conflict with the trade unions. Repudiated by Employer association members, he had urged them to withhold contributions to workers’ retirement programs.

La réunion à huit clos où M. Seillière a été désavoué (April 27, 2001)
(in French) This article, from Le Monde, shows the debate among the French employers over their president, Mr. Seillière, who did not want to pay the contributions due to the retirement funds. By boycotting the contributions, Mr. Seillière proposed to force trade unions to accept changes in the entire system of retirement. However, his membership failed to follow his lead. The president of MEDEF will now pay the contributions. French employers have shown that they prefer discussion, not force, in order to modify the retirement system.

Alain Juppé estime que la retraite reste une "grenade dégoupillée" (April 25, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in Le Monde, reports Alain Juppé's point of view on the retirement issue. By the time he was the right-of center Prime Minister, in 1995, he experienced mounting social unrest owing to his policies. Now, he is preparing a project for 2002, advocating a sweeping reform of the pension system, not eschewing pension funds. Would his current ideas be better than the former one? Details in this article.

Europese Commissie wil fiscale hindernissen pensioenrechten ruimen (April 19, 2001)
(In Dutch) According to De Standaard, the European Commission has implemented a policy to eliminate tax discrimination with regard to pension payments across the borders of the European Union. As such, the European Commission will investigate the legislation of the member states to trace possible discrimination, and will take legal action if necessary.

Social partners willen pensioen voor iedereen (April 19, 2001)
(In Dutch) According to De Financiële Telegraaf, social partners in the Netherlands have submitted an advisory report to the Dutch government stating that every employee in the Netherlands should be able to establish a pension and it should be regulated in the individual employee contracts. 

Le gouvernement grec lance timidement la réforme du régime des retraites (April 19, 2001)
(in French) This article, written by the Agence France Presse, reports the launching of the reform on retirement by the Greek government, rather bashfully. Though the government has made a point in arguing that privatization would no be the solution. The State will still play a predominant role by contributing to financing the retirement system. 

Pension posers (April 16, 2001)
This article, published in the British newspaper The Guardian, reports a further step made by Tony Blair's government towards pension privatization. Whether this is a good sign is less certain as this article shows. 

Comment remplacer les cadres du baby-boom ? (April 14, 2001)
(in French) In this article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde, the issue of baby-boomers going on retirement is at stake. Companies have to find ways to offset this trend characterized by three factors: the retirement of many baby-boomers, the virtual dearth of recruitment during the 1990's, and low fertility rate. 

No German children? Then pay up (April 5, 2001)
Starting with a ruling implying a father with ten children, this article, published in The Economist,  questions the pay-as-you-go system deemed unconstitutional since it may not promote the family. The Constitutional Court has decided now to penalize families with few children urging them to pay more, since they are considered as preventing the number of future contributors to being maintained. The main challenge being pensions.

Korea to Use Pension Money to Bolster Its Stock Market (April 5, 2001)
This article, published in The New York Times, describes how the Korean government is using pension money to bolster its stock market, which it has declined to its lowest level since the economic crisis in 1998. The National Pension Fund and smaller funds are going to put $4.4 billion into the stock market.

Pour assurer votre retraite, faites le plus possible d'enfants allemands (April 4, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Le Monde, reports the quandary facing Germany. In this country, where everything is done for retirees, families feel left behind. This article shows the example of a man, who is the father of ten children, and who thinks that having lots of children is the best way to secure his retirement.

Alternance 2002 : un projet pour l'opposition (extraits) (April 4, 2001)
(in French) Excerpts from an article published in the French newspaper Le Monde. It deals with a sort of “sandwich plan” proposed by the right wing party for the 2002 elections in France. This particular excerpt is devoted to the crucial issue of retirement, assessing the current situation, the flaws of the socialist government’s action when tackling the issue and the propositions of the right-wing party.

Pensions for beginners (April 2, 2001)
Choosing the right pension system gives English people a headache : pensions for divorcees, personal pension mis-representation, annuities, with-profit annuities…

Retraites: manifestation samedi à Paris (March 30, 2001)
This article sent by the AFP (Agence France Presse), a French agency, providing news for different newspapers, reports a demonstration by trade unions, regarding retirement, advocating the age of retirement at 60.

The following website provides you with the latest developments on the retirement reform, which is under way in Germany:

Rights-Brazil: 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.

 Des retraites plus coûteuses (March 22, 2001)
In France, the pension system is divided between the public and the private sector. But the public sector’s system (civil servants, for example) is more expensive..

L'Allemagne a instauré les retraites par capitalisation (March 19, 2001)
(in French) In this article, from Le Monde Economie, reports the implications encompassed in the German reform, which has to be thoroughly implemented by 2002. Details on what this reform means for wage earners due to the reduction of retirement benefits allocated by the State in this article.

La bombe à retardement de Frédéric le Grand (March 19, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Le monde Economie, raises the issue of the retirement benefits of civil servants. Considered too high for some people, the global amount should increase due to the increased lifespan and the number of retired people, who used to work in the 70's. Currently and until 2013, civil servants must save 0.2% of their salary increase to finance their self-funded retirement plans and alleviate increases of retirement benefits and wages.

" D'ici 2050, sans immigration, la population européenne devrait se réduire d'un cinquième " (March 19, 2001)
(in French) Le Monde Economie gives useful information on the European situation regarding retirement with a special emphasis on Germany. This country, more than any other, will experience numerous hurdles if it does not take into account the plunge in fertility, foreign labor force and further factors which may alter the gloomy outlook.

Un dossier délicat pour le futur gouvernement italien (March 19, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde Economie, gives a general review of the Italian situation regarding retirement and highlights the need for additional reforms of the system. In the aftermath of a report from the Commission, it has been underscored that Italy and five EU member states should implement reforms. 

Questions-réponses (March 19, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde Economie, provides an extremely good analysis of the situation in Europe concerning retirement through a set of questions and answers, with a special overview in Germany.

Les fonds de pension volent au secours des prestations versées par les entreprises (March 19, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Le Monde, reports a further step towards the old-age system reform in Germany, where the introduction of pension funds is now likely to be based on the Anglo-Saxon model.

En Suisse, le paradis des retraités n'est plus ce qu'il était (March 12, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Le Monde, reports the current change in the way of living of many rich retirees in Switzerland. Due to a closer look at  tax heavens from both French and Swiss governments more transparency is now required and the notorious Swiss banking secret  might become outdated.

Le gouvernement engage la réforme de l'aide aux personnes âgées (March 7, 2001)
(in French) This article reports a forthcoming reform concerning the help provided to the elderly, which should be implemented from January 1, 2002 in France. The French newspaper, Le Monde, provides further details.

A comprehensive report on the pension issue in France from the MEDEF's point of view, the most powerful employer's union (March 5, 2001)
(in French)

Retraites : le vrai problème c'est le chômage (March 3, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde, contemplates the difficulties stemming from the mounting number of elderly people and the potential burden on the working population. The journalist considers different solutions.

La retraite, pas la déroute! (February 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique, analyzes the notion of retirement and its perception within the society nowadays. An excellent thought tackling the hurdles inherent in the notion. 

Drôle de guerre pour les retraites (February 28, 2001)
(in French) After long negotiations, the French employers organization (Medef) has concluded an agreement with the five main trade unions to report the retirement's reform in two years (see "Dossiers sur les retraites en France", February 10, 11 and 12, 2001). But, in the agreement, the employers do not have to pay contributions due at the beginning of 2001 in order to sustain the financial structure of the pension system. In this round, Medef won and the workers lost. As the author points out, the Medef strategy was a poison pill for the workers and put tremendous pressure on the pension reserves. Le Monde reports.

Die Rente heute und in dreißig Jahren (February 27, 2001)
(in German) This article, taken from the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, gives an interesting overview of pensions now and their evolution until the year in 2030. A chart illustrate the information given. 

Fünf Fragen und fünf Antworten  (February 27, 2001)
(in German) This article, published in the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, provides useful information about the pension reform, which is currently under way in Germany, through a set of questions and answers. It explains the reasons why a reform is necessary, the evolution of pensions, the future of widows' pensions and other questions related to the subject.

Retraites: l'avenir est au départ à la carte  (February 21, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Libération, reports the dilemma facing France concerning retirement. On February 10, 2001 the deal clinched between the three employers' unions and the two trade unions set up a second round of negotiations due to end by December 31, 2002.Taking time to think will be key to the success of this new round.

Les start-up misent sur le 4e âge (February 20, 2001)
There are 2 Million old persons seen as "dependent" in France. Suffering from a physical or mental handicap, their families have to find appropriate solutions.  Two French language internet websites provide much information necessary for improving the  welfare of seniors.

Pensions logjam (February 18, 2001)
This article, published in The Financial Times, assesses the pension reform which is under way in Germany. The article shows the political imbroglio triggered by this reform.

Begin at birth - but it's never too late (February 18, 2001)
From your birth to your sixties, this British article gives you all the tips for a secure retirement. For example, in your twenties, if your debts are under control, you should turn toward an employer’s scheme. In your thirties, this is the moment to act if you want to have a pension “equivalent to between half and two-thirds of your income."

Renten gut, alles gut?(February 18, 2001)
(in German) This article, published in the daily German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, reports the thorny situation facing German political parties concerning pensions. The article raises the question of knowing whether the social system should  give more freedom of choice.

Happily ever after (February 17, 2001)
“Companies are paying their directors enhanced pensions in the good years as part of burgeoning pay and perks packages, while employees in the same scheme rely on clocking up their years of service.” The UK government believes that forcing companies to become more transparent around perks packages will embarrass them into dropping ludicrous schemes that cannot be justified by profits. But the fact is still there: Glaxo Smithkline for example is due to give its chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier a pension of £700,000…($ 1,000,000)

Pensions in Brazil (February 15, 2001)
In this article, pensions in Brazil are under the limelight. In a country where few people are saving money for old age and pension funds are surging, Brazil has witnessed the sprouting of pension funds. Without any regulation, these pension fund companies wield significant power and sometimes go hand in hand with corruption. The Economist reports.

Compulsory retirement may be banned (February 13, 2001)
This article, published in The Daily Telegraph, gives the latest details on a European directive conducive to the ban of a mandatory retirement age by 2006. More generally, this directive tackles the issue of age discrimination in the workplace.

Dossier sur les retraites en France (February 10,11 and 12, 2001)
(in French) After a long negotiation, the French employers’ union (MEDEF) concluded an agreement with the five main trade unions (CGT, CFTC, CTFC, FO and CGT) to report the retirement reform in two years. Indeed, MEDEF had proposed to raise the age of retirement to 65 years instead of the current 60 years. Facing hard opposition of the trade unions, MEDEF was forced to negotiate an agreement. MEDEF agreed to guarantee the 60 years old retirement age for two years along with the same conditions of retirement to future retirees. But, in return, MEDEF wants the trade unions to put pressure on the government for a global reform of retirement. Le Monde reports.

Retraites: la polémique de l'urgence (February 9, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Le Monde, reports the likelihood of  revising the Charpin Plan, proposed by Mr. Charpin in 1998 to the French government. At that time, he had based his report on forecasts that did not not take into account the improvement of the economic situation in France. Now, in the light of the favorable economic environment  which seems to stalk France, difficulties have been postponed.

Employers face £ 10 bill after pension ruling (February 8, 2001)
This article, published in The Financial Times, gives details on a ruling, which will urge employers to provide reparation to the part-time workers, mostly women, who have been deprived of pension rights, some since 1976.

L'avenir de la "refondation sociale" est suspendu au dossier des retraites (February 8, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the daily French newspaper Le Monde, reports the aftermath of a meeting, which took place lately. The meeting was quite decisive since it  will be followed by a round of negotiations on a thorny issue: retirement.

Sollen auch Beamte und Selbstandige in die gesetzliche Rentenversicherung einzahlen? (February 7, 2001)
(in German) This article, published in the German daily newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, raises the question of whether or not the civil servants and liberal profession should be included in the reform concerning old age systems because the young generation is expected to bear the finanacial burden of supporting retirees.

1912: La retraite à 60ans! (February 5, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French newspaper Le Monde Economie, analyses the 1910 Bill, altered in 1912, which implemented the reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 60 years old.

On the following website, you will be able to find interesting information on the subject:

Strike to Retire (February 1, 2001)
This article, taken from The Economist, shows the ambit of the conflict concerning retirement in France, pitting employers against trade unions.

La retraite à 70 ans (February 1, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Libération, highlights the need for politicians to implement a reform of old-age systems considering the baby boomers. The need for such a reform stems from the huge number of baby boomers and the forthcoming difficulty for the young generation to support retirees.  

Retraites: Les Allemands capitaliseront (January 27-28, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Libération, reports the latest information about the reform of old age systems in Germany. The draft, which  has been lately adopted, will reduce the amount of benefits but the State will help wage earners to offset this imbalance. This is another step towards the privatization of pensions.

Le Québec réinvente le fonds de pension (January 26, 2001)
(in French) In Quebec (Canada), the main trade union, Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (FTQ), has created an original pension fund in order to maintain employment. On 3,7 millions of working people, more that 426 000 give their money to this fund, which has invested 2,5 billion of Canadian dollars in 1600 firms, saving or creating 90 000 jobs. While the short-term results have benefited union members in a strong economy, one must assess the benefits in an economic downturn. Le Monde reports.

Le Medef pourrait-il abandonner la partie?(January 26, 2001)
(in French) This article, published in the French daily newspaper Libération, reports the latest position of the Medef on an topical issue: retirement, which is in France referred as a "poisoned gift". The Medef, an employee union, which has threatened to put an end to the retirement age at 60, might give up on the subject if it eschews to accept an union agreement. 

L'Allemagne adopte une loi introduisant des fonds de pension (January 26, 2001)
( in French) This article, published in Le Monde, gives the latest details concerning the reform of old-age systems, which is under way in Germany. This topical issue raises many concerns among trade unions and political parties resisting change.

Kein Konsens bei der Rentenreform (January 16, 2001)
(in German) European countries seem to have paved the way towards sweeping reforms of old-age security systems. Though Germany  appeared to be far ahead in this field, there is a major bone of contention between the national different political parties: the level of pensions. The latter impedes any kind of consensus so far. The following article, published in Suddeutsche Zeitung, gives the latest details.