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Social Pensions 


GAA has compiled a number of articles and reports focused on social pensions, as well as a list of sources of information. We believe that older persons have the unconditional right to income security. Universal Social Pensions are the most effective way to provide dignity to older persons. 

The world is aging fast. Developing nations increasingly face difficulties supporting their older population. In most developing countries, the elderly live at the bottom of the socio-economic strata. Older women, in particular, confront harsh conditions. Women usually take care of their children and family, an activity that puts them in a disadvantaged position when older. Many people in the developing world hold informal jobs or work without wages in rural areas. These older persons enjoy no proper pension system have scarce retirement savings, if any. Most poor countries have no pension system, save for the military and government officials. By providing cash transfers to older persons, governments can meet their obligation to protect the most vulnerable sector in their society. 

Where social pensions exist, older persons share their benefits with the members of their household, buying food, supplies, and proving clothes and school materials for their grandchildren. Often older persons care for relatives infected with HIV/AIDS, as well as look after their orphaned grandchildren. In the latter case, social pensions save lives. 

Recent examples of several poor countries that have implemented a social pension system show that they are neither complicated nor very costly. In fact, financial projections (see reports and articles) show that social pensions take less than 3% of a national budget. 

Page created on: January 2007

Definitions Fact sheet  Background Documents Reports Implementation




Social Pension(s): generally defined as a non-contributory cash income given to older persons (usually by the government)

Alternative words: cash transfers, non-contributory pensions, social protection pensions

Universal Social Pension(s): cash income given to all older persons, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Means-Tested Social Pensions: solely for the poor and are conditional on the level of income.

Social Protection: a system that provides basic health, education, and income security to all population or to a certain group (usually the most vulnerable: children, older persons, women)

Fact Sheet

Social Protection: Facts and Figures
May 1, 2006

Social pensions:

Have positive social and economic effects

With a pension, older people can:

· afford to eat at least one meal a day 
· access basic services such as credit, health care and water 
· invest in income-generating activities and the health and education of dependants 
· support the millions of children in their care orphaned by HIV/AIDS or conflict and emergencies 
· break the cycle of chronic poverty from one generation to the next.

Help reduce extreme poverty and hunger 

· The first target of Millennium Development Goal 1 is, by 2015, to halve the proportion of the population whose income is less than a dollar a day. Social pensions can contribute to the achievement of this target. 
· Social pensions can reduce the number of people living on less than a dollar a day. In South Africa, the pension reduces the number of people living below the poverty line by 5% (2.24 million). 
· They can reduce the poverty-gap ratio. The pension reduces the ratio by more than 13% in South Africa and almost 8% in Brazil.
· Social pensions can increase the share of the poorest 5% of the population in national consumption. They increase the income of this group of the population by 100% in Brazil and by 50% in South Africa.

Contribute to the human-rights agenda

· Social pensions support the rights of older people and their contribution to development.
· They build good governance and political support for citizenship.
· They support social cohesion and household coping mechanisms.
· Introducing a social pension helps to reduce gender inequality in income and quality of life between older women and men.

Effectively target aid at minimum cost

· In Brazil, pensions reach 5.3 million poor older people at 1% of gross domestic product (GDP). A pensioner in the family reduces a household’s probability of becoming poor by 21%.
· In South Africa, pensions reach 1.9 million poor older people at 1.4% of GDP. A pensioner in the family reduces a household’s probability of becoming poor by 11%.
· Social pensions target older women, who are among the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries.
· Social pensions deliver support to children, bringing educational and nutritional benefits.

Improve the life chances of orphans and vulnerable children 

· In Tanzania, where there is no pension, out of 146,000 children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, only 1,000 attended secondary school, because their grandparents could not afford the fees.
· In Zambia, a pilot cash-transfer scheme to older people caring for orphans has improved school attendance.
· In rural Brazil, pensions are associated with increased school enrolment, particularly of girls aged 12-14.
· In South Africa, girls living in a household with an older woman who receives a pension are 3-4 centimeters taller than girls in households with older women who do not receive a pension.

Are feasible and affordable

· The cost of delivering universal benefits is not beyond the means of resource-poor countries. 
· The cost of implementing large-scale social pension schemes is less than 2% of GDP in Namibia and 1.4% in South Africa.
· Administration accounts for only 2-3% of benefit payments in Botswana and Mauritius.
· Universal provision of social pensions to older people is administratively simpler and less expensive than means-tested benefits.


Fact Sheet

 Background Documents Reports




Background Documents

Worldwide, many ageing advocates and their organizations see Social Pensions as a key resource to reduce old age poverty in poor countries. Increasingly, these non-contributory pensions awarded on the basis of age figure as a primary development strategy. In the field of aging, HelpAge International (our partner organization) has carried extensive research on how social pensions lift older people out of poverty. Institutions such as the World Bank, the Inter- American Development Bank, and the International Labour Organization now identify social pensions as a good method to help the help the poorest elderly. UN agencies dealing with aging and/or development urge governments to consider basic social protection and social pensions for older persons.  

Social Protection for Older People: A Plan of Action (October 2007)
The Social Watch Report 2007 entitled, “In dignity and rights. Making the universal right to social security a reality,” was launched October 24 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. It features GAA President Susanne Paul and then Program Coordinator Alischa Kugel’s article on “Social Protection for Older People: A Plan of Action.”

Social Security for All: Investing in Global Social and Economic Development (August 2006)
The International Labor Organization’s social security department launched a “Global Campaign on Social Security and Coverage for All.” This paper shows that their program is not that ambitious: national social security systems can make a major contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The extension of social security for all is nothing less than a basic human right (article 22 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights). The authors of he paper stress that implementing minimum social standards at the national level will reduce international transfers and other financial development aids. Economically, extending social security in an aging world is realistic: it is proved in the developed countries that social transfers to the elderly are mainly spent and consequently redistributed. 

Social Protection as a Productive Factor (November 2005)
This paper by the International Labour Organization's Committee on Employment and Social Policy argues in favor of income security and basic health and social services to lift extremely vulnerable persons out of poverty. This approach, presented by the ILO for discussion and review, would promote overall productivity and economic growth in nations. Older persons would benefit as well.

Social Transfers and Chronic Poverty: Emerging Evidence and the Challenge Ahead (October 2005)
Developing countries are turning more and more to social pensions. The World Bank’s 2006 World Development Report even recognizes their role in tackling poverty and inequality. Indeed social pensions offer a cheaper and more effective option to the humanitarian assistance This DFID (Department for International Development) practice paper summarizes how countries deal with the main challenges as they install social pensions. What are the issues of such social transfers? Here they are: Developing appropriate mechanisms of co-ordination between government and other ministries, getting support of UN agencies and NGOs, ensuring that the transfers reach the poorest through delivery systems protected against corruption, and building country ownership and political will.

Can Low Income Countries Afford Basic Social Protection? (June 2005)
Economic experts from the International Labour Organization presented a model study showing it is feasible for low-income countries to offer basic social protection to their population. Using case studies from Sub-Saharan Africa, the paper illustrates that universal pensions, basic health care and education would only cost a small fraction of a poor country’s GDP . The authors state that universal social pensions have proven to be very effective in eradicating extreme poverty among those most vulnerable, including older persons.

Social Security: A New Consensus (2001)
The International Labor Organization published this report following the Committee on Social Security’s meeting. The committee defined a vision of social security which would guide the work of the Organization in the years to come. It also looked at the various actors involved in income security and social protection, ranging from the family and local solidarity networks to the international community. Concerning the challenge of an aging population, the group revealed that financing social security faces difficulties. World Bank advocacy of privatization and pre-funding of pensions brought on new problems, such as higher management and transitional costs. They concluded that global access to social security softens the “old age crisis.” They also suggested that partnerships with private financial institutions could be useful, for example, in the case of implementing micro-insurance.


Report: Zambia: A Social Pension in Zambia (Spring 2011)
In Zambia, in 2006, it was estimated that 64 per cent of the population livedin poverty. In this context, the Government of Zambia has been running a set of pilot cash transfers to test which could best form the basis of a national social protection system. As the situation is particularly problematic in households headed by older people, the Katete district transfers US$11 a month to everyone over 60 years old.  The report states that those increased incomes have not only permitted the older peopleand their relatives to live better, but also changed perceptions of older people from being a burden, to being a resource.

Report: World Social Security Report 2010-2011: Providing Coverage in Times of Crisis and Beyond (November 16, 2010)
This United Nations study finds most people worldwide have no social security. Basic social security remains out of reach for most people world, especially those in poorer countries, despite the crucial role it plays in protecting people from the consequences of economic crises. The UN urges governments to develop comprehensive social security systems where only rudimentary systems exist so far, starting with basic income security and affordable access to health care. 

World: Public Pension Institutions and Old-age Mortality in a Comparative Perspective (2010) 
In the Journal of International Social Welfare, a comparative study among public pension institutions and old-age mortality explores the relationship that is commonly discussed as separate topics. The researchers examined data from 18 OECD countries during the post-war period. They wanted to estimate the impact of changes in pension rights and mortality in old-age. The report begins by asking the critical question: “How could pension rights affect old-age mortality?”

World: Ageing and Welfare State: Securing Sustainability (January 2010) 
Older adults are depending more and more on social services that they have helped finance for years. However, governments feel greater pressure to make cuts due to the continuing recession. Many considerations for solutions are underway; some governments are considering rebuilding their public pension systems—a drastic act in this critical momen.

India: The Social Pension in India: A Participatory Study on the Poverty Reduction Impact and Role of Monitoring Groups (January 2009)
The population of older people is increasing dramatically in India. In addition, there is widespread poverty. To assist the elder poor, the government adopted a means-based social pension system. Unfortunately, the scheme did not always benefit the intended recipients. HelpAge India started monitoring this scheme through the Poorest Area Civil Society program. To understand more about these “monitoring groups” and the means-based pension, HAIndia conducted a study. It revealed that the social pension provides a secure means of monthly income to older people. They noted that the pension had improved their quality of life, improved their status in the family and gave them greater self-confidence. Respondents also felt that the monitoring groups helped make the pension application process more effective.

World: Working for Life: Making Decent Work and Pensions a Reality for Older People (2009)
Very little data exists about older workers in the informal sector. HelpAge International conducted research on older people and work in Bangladesh, Peru and Uganda. Among findings was the lack of pensions available to older persons within the informal employment sector, including 90% of workers in Uganda. A universal pension for older people would enable them to have a greater choice of work. It would provide them with money to travel to work, giving them access to loan schemes or simply allowing them to pay for basic goods or services such as food or healthcare.

India: Understanding Poverty Among the Elderly in India: Implications for Social Pension Policy (2008)
In a 2008 report from India, researchers found that households with older members are not likely to be poorer than households without elders. Other study findings have significant policy implications. Policies that aim to reduce the mortality rate among older people have the potential to reduce poverty among older people as well. The researchers highlight that if the demographics continue to change as the trends in their study show, then the proportion of poor older people will increase in the coming years and they will be increasingly dependent on social pensions.

Africa: Investing in Social Protection in Africa: Summary Report of National Consultations Held in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Tunisia (October 2008)
Global Action on Aging and other aging organizations see social protection as an indispensable but often overlooked strategy for development. This HelpAge International Report describes the need for Africa to invest in social services for poor people. This report summarizes the meetings held by participating countries as well as key recommendations. The general findings include the importance of high level political commitment to making improvements, and a number of other measures to assure effective social protection programs.

India: Understanding Poverty Among the Elderly in India: Implications for Social Pension Policy (April 2008)
Writers of a 2008 report from India found that households with older members are not likely to be poorer than households without elders. Other findings of the study have significant policy implications. Policies that aim to reduce the mortality rate among older people have the potential to reduce poverty among older people as well. The researchers highlight that if the demographics continue to change as the trends in their study show, then the proportion of poor elderly who will need social pensions will increase in the coming years.

World: Tackling Insecurity in Old Age: The Challenge of Universal Pensions (September 2007)
“Deteriorating health and declining incomes threaten the welfare and security of many people as they enter old age.” This UN report reviews both rich and poor countries, suggests that a minimal universal social pension can provide a floor below which no older person could fall. It also points out that such pensions form the “basis for a more comprehensive pension system which may consist of a mixture of public initiatives adapted in accordance with existing country practices, financial circumstances and equity considerations.”

World: World Economic and Social Survey 2007 (June 19, 2007)

(PDF format, 212 p)
Authors of the World Economic and Social Survey say that governments should raise the participatory rate of the women and older workers in the labor force in order to offset the potential challenges that might arise with an aging population. They also highlight initiatives undertaken since the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in 2002. The survey particularly emphasizes the affordability of universal social pensions, even for poor countries. Pensions as little as one dollar a day would lead to considerable reduction of old age poverty in developing countries. This would guarantee the absence of extreme poverty in old age when the population over 60 is expected to increase from 670 in 2005 to two billion in 2050. 

Asia Pacific: Expert Group Meeting on the Regional Preparations for the Global Review of Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (March 27-29, 2007)
Five years after the Madrid Plan on Aging signed by 159 countries, HelpAge International conducted a review of implementation of the Plan focusing on two countries of Asia: Bangladesh and Vietnam. Two aspects of old age that are particularly relevant in Asia are: income security in old age and access to and quality of healthcare. The report also focuses on a project with the government of Nepal to analyze the impact of an Old Age Allowance. 

World: Social Protection – an Effective Tool to Fight Inter- generational Poverty (February 2007)
This article by Global Action on Aging’s Alischa Kugel and Jennifer Nazareno, gives an overview of the effective use of social cash transfers in combating intergenerational poverty. The article also recaps presentations given by experts on the issue during a UN Roundtable at the Commission for Social Development and discusses challenges that must be overcome. 

World: Achieving Decent Work for All Ages (February 9, 2007)
This HelpAge International presentation at the UN Commission for Social Development makes clear that social protection is the key to realizing the Millennium Development Goals and satisfies the commitments of the 1995 Copenhagen Summit for Social Development. The UN community wants to “place people at the centre of development and ensure that economic investment is balanced with social policies.” In the least developed countries, 71% of older men are still in the labor force, holding informal sector jobs or working in dangerous worksites. The Decent Work Agenda speaks up for a universal pension system. Indeed older people living in poor countries are highly concerned, especially because they need income provision for retirement and as carers of HIV/AIDS affected families.  

World: Update on Trends in Income Security in Old Age (February 7-9, 2007)
This report by the International Labour Organization discusses the effects of aging on the population, in both developed and developing countries. Developed countries, since they already organized their system, expect to increase their GDP expenditure only from 23.4 % to 26.8%. However, this outcome results from policy changes that push up employment rates and actual retirement ages and push down benefit levels. In the low income countries, ILO suggests adoption of non-contributory pensions (social pensions) to ensure an income to older people. ILO has studied two kinds of universal basic pension: one paying a regular amount of money to all men and women over a certain age and another that sets the level of benefits relating to GDP per capita. 

World: Realizing Universal Rights to Social Protection. Briefing Paper (November 2006)
Grow Up Free From Poverty is a coalition that first targeted children. This NGO coalition is now leading a “campaign for the extension and establishment of social protection measures, specifically cash transfers.” Social pensions have become a successful form of cash transfer, alongside family benefits or child allowances. This paper studies the impact of social protection through an intergenerational approach. The coalition states that “older women and men are increasingly the primary caregivers of children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, war and migration, [thus] poverty of older relatives will impact on the poverty of the younger ones, and vice versa.” From a political point of view, social protection is a human right developed in many international conventions; this paper refers to them in an annex.

World: Why Social Pensions Are Needed Now (October 2006)
This Help Age International briefing paper describes the characteristics of social pensions and how they contribute to the economic development of poor countries. Governments that distribute social pensions act to reduce poverty and to tackle HIV/AIDS. Indeed, older persons are often disproportionately affected by poverty because they don’t receive a regular income. Social pensions also support economic growth as well as social cohesion and governance: they “should be regarded as an investment rather than unproductive spending.”

Kenya: Poverty, Old Age and Social Pensions in Kenya (2006)
Although older persons represent a small percentage of Kenya ’s population, poverty affects them disproportionably. This International Poverty Center report highlights the importance of pensions in combating old age poverty. While only 3% of older Kenyans report receiving a pension, poverty rates without this income would rise 17.1% for persons of 55 years and 14.6% for persons over 60 years. Examining the possibilities of expanding the current pension system, the authors discuss non-contributory social pensions as well as universal pensions to all older persons over 55 or 60.

Social Protection: The Role of Cash Transfers (June 2006)
In this publication, the International Poverty Center focuses on the importance of cash transfers as part of social protection measures to combat poverty. Authors discuss policy makers’ considerations, such as targeted vs. universal delivery of the transfers, their long and short term effects, case studies on universal income grants from Africa, new initiatives in Asia and conditional cash transfer models in Latin America. Lastly, a bilateral donor representative presents his view on cash transfers and details how donor countries and developing countries can work together to provide more effective support to the scheme.

World: Universal Pensions for Developing Countries (May 2006)
Governments of New Zealand, Mauritius, Namibia, Botswana, Bolivia, Nepal, Samoa, Brunei, Kosovo and Mexico City provide a basic pension to the elderly with no test other than citizenship, residence and age. These universal non-means-tested pensions automatically protect an entire population, in a way that contributory, earnings related pensions never can. However few countries implement this kind of pension. The World Bank opposes such a system for reasons like: younger generations should have priority in the social budget or universal pensions “crowd out” private transfers. However, universal pensions are not a “costly luxury,” rather, the report demonstrates that developing countries can afford this system.

World: Shaping the Future of Social Protection: Access, Financing and Solidarity (April 2006) 
This in-depth report highlights the outcome the of recent UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) conference in Uruguay. Experts in this UN commission focus on Latin America ’s current pension and health systems and their impact on impoverished older persons. The document offers analyses of social protection programs in the region, providing useful information on how Latin American nations are addressing the needs of their aging population. The authors point out the financial challenges governments face in implementing social programs and give recommendations for possible solutions.

India: Bottom-up Evaluation of Non-Contributory Social Protection Policy for Rural Labourers in India (October 2005)
The Chronic Poverty Research Centre based in the UK recently released a report evaluating the effectiveness of non-contributory social protection programs on the poverty levels of workers in rural India. The study points out differences between effective implementation strategies and program outcome. In the case of rural Indian workers, the study shows the implementation of non-contributory social protection schemes increase the power of local powerbrokers over rural workers. At the same time, social protection plans tend to help reduce poverty levels of rural Indians. Experts caution that government officials may try to influence outcome indicators. 

World: Age and Security: How Social Pension Can Deliver Effective Aid To Poor Older People and Their Families (2004)
This HelpAge International report makes a strong case for providing universal non-contributory pensions - "social pensions" - to older people in developing countries. It describes how social pensions effectively target aid, reducing the poverty of older people and the families they so often support.

Africa: Non Contributory Pensions and Poverty: A Comparative Study of Brazil and South Africa
A comparative study of non-contributory pensions, published by Help Age International, provides evidence of how non-contributory pension programs affect the well-being and the security of older people and their families. An international team of researchers studied non-contributory pension programs in Brazil and South Africa and found that the programs had a positive effect on bringing households out of poverty. This innovative program could help other developing countries in the future.


Fact Sheet

 Background Documents Reports  Implementation




Each government that has a social pensions program uses a slightly different system to distribute benefits. Most nations give a monthly or bimonthly pension, ranging from $2 in Nepal, to about $130 in South Africa. Nepal and India provide the lowest pensions, whereas South Africa and Argentina provide the highest. Bolivia offers the “Bonosol,” a benefit of $225 a year. Some countries like Chile and Mexico combine their social pension schemes with food and health care programs. Although in absolute cash value social pensions are not worth a lot of money, they represent a significant source of income for poor older persons.


Uganda: Senior Citizens Petition Museveni Over Pension, Access to Health (November 21, 2010)
Older persons in Uganda are petitioning for access to health centers across the country and access to their pensions considering only 7.1% of older persons in Uganda recieve it. 

Uganda: Social Services Better than Cash for the Poor (October 5, 2010)
The government of Uganda is formulating a social protection policy for the elderly. This program, run through the DFID (Department for International Development), aims to provide the elderly with a cash allowance allowing them to buy necessities such as food and medicine. However, there will be a trial period first analyzing the income of the elderly and determining whether rehabilitation centers equipped with food and medicine would be better than cash. 

South Africa: Elderly in Row Over Pension (May 25, 2010)
In Soweto, South Africa, three older people have accused the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) of declining their applications for old age grants because their spouses are government employees. The three older persons are qualified by age to receive the grants. But the Government agency, Sassa, claims that their spouses make more than R53, 000 and thus are not entitled to the payments. 

South Africa: 60-Year-Olds Urged to Apply for Pension (April 6, 2010)
The Black Sash, a non- governmental human rights organization in South Africa, has announced that the qualifying age for men for the means-tested pension is now equivalent to that for women. This will bring needed relief to thousands of senior citizens. The Black Sash intends to advocate for the removal of the means test from the qualifications assessment. They are advocating for a universal old age pension. 

Tanzania: Help Needed to Rear the New Generation (November 12, 2009)
(Article in French)
Older persons in many African countries, especially older women, have to take care of their orphaned grandchildren. However, these people are marginalized from government welfare programs that tend to focus solely on children or persons with disabilities. These grandparents need help from their governments and access to social pensions or micro-credits for those who can still work.

South Africa: Country's Social Security on the Right Track (November 9, 2009)
The Social Assistance Act implemented in 2008, lowering the qualifying age for men to receive old age pension, has progressed productively, according to South African Public Works Minister Doige. A consolidated report that will soon be publicly presented includes proposals for further advancement and growth of the social assistance programs, including the old age pension.

Nigeria: Non-contributory Pension Scheme Fraught with Corruption (May 20, 2009)
At the National Conference on the Implementation of Pension Reforms held in Abuja, President Umaru Yar‘Adua said that a non-contributory pension scheme, which was operated before the pension reforms of 2003, was corruption-ridden. To him, the pension reform was the way out of the many problems of pensions in Nigeria. He noted that Nigeria need to consider a non-contributory pension scheme (social pension) currently being operated aside the new scheme for the purpose of addressing the problems facing it. 

Swaziland: Non-contributory Pension Schemes Key – ISSA (December 31. 2008)
The International Social Security Association (ISSA) has honored Swaziland for its social pension policies as one of the few developing nations with one. ISSA asserts that giving money to older aged citizens supports them as they support their own families who have been ravaged by the effects of the HIV/Aids epidemic.

Africa: New Social Policy Framework for Africa (November 3, 2008)
Fifty-three member states of the African Union agreed on the first ever Social Policy Framework for Africa, which includes policy recommendations to expand and improve their social protection plan. This marks a great leap in meeting the basic needs of all marginalized groups, including older persons, by improving social programs such as pensions while providing security and assistance.

South Africa: Social Grants to Bring Relief to Soaring Food Prices (October 24, 2008)
To guard against the rising cost of food and fuel, the South African government has increased social assistance grants including those for older persons. The grant will move from R940 to R960. Although this move is costly to the State, it will increase the security of food for the elderly and their families. 

Africa: First Ministerial Conference On Social Development in Africa (October 27, 2008)
The African ministers whose focus is social development in Africa participated in a conference with the goal of adopting a Social Policy Framework to confront poverty and inequality while at the same time encouraging healthier lives of the African people. HelpAge International, along with many other NGO’s, civil society organizations and national governments worked together to share recommendations and expertise prior to the conference. 

Malawi: Govt. To Introduce Social Pension for Elderly (September 26, 2008)
Malawi is introducing a social pension scheme for older persons. Announcing the scheme, Clement Khembo, the Minister responsible for People with Disabilities and the Elderly, said, "Not all elderly people are struggling with life. In its initial stages, the scheme will target all those who are very poor to afford sustenance. Those in the rural areas, who have even no houses." The President of Malawi, Bingu Mutharika, is also a strong supporter of improving the welfare of older persons.

South Africa: New Law Equalising Age for Pensions Passeed (July 13, 2008)
The Social Assistance Act has lowered the qualifying age for men to receive social pension payments, so that the age now matches the qualifying age for women. This Act will increase the distribution of necessary financial aid that will keep older individuals and their families from poverty. 

Mozambique: Just Give Money to the Poor (July 11, 2008)
Joseph Hanlon of Open University in the UK discusses how Mozambique can afford to adopt a “cash transfer scheme” to relieve and encourage the poor. This scheme would offer non- contributory pension to the elderly as part of a social protection plan for the poor. He asserts that social pension for older persons is an effective way to get families out of poverty. 

Zambia: Government Discards the Elderly (September 20, 2007)
The author of this article calls on the Zambian government to step up its efforts to protect older persons. While Zambia provides pensions to formal sector workers, most people work in the informal sector and do not receive payments. Activists also critizise the country’s free medical scheme for those 65 and older, saying that while the consultation is free, drugs are not. Senior citizen organizations are calling on the government to implement a universal social pension to help older persons cope with HIV/AIDS care-taking responsibilities and to provide for a decent old age. 

Uganda: Poor Ugandans to Get Monthly Allowance (August 9, 2007)
Uganda, with the help of the UK’s Department for International Development and aid organizations such as HelpAge International, will start paying a monthly allowance of $10 to the country’s “chronically” poor, often times older persons. Families whose household include an older person will get an additional $6.00. The scheme, based on similar models in countries such as Brazil and Mozambique, will particularly help grandparents taking care of children whose parents have dies of HIV/AIDS.

Africa: Social Change Lags Behind Africa's Economic Growth (July 17, 2007)
The recently released 2006 State of the African Population report revealed that “half of Africa lives in extreme poverty and one-third lives in hunger.” While the economy is developing, few people benefit socially. This is due, in part, to a lack of education, inadequate investments in human capital, gender inequalities and youth marginalization, which keep people in chronic poverty. There are positive experiences. South Africa has about 12 million social security grant recipients, including older persons, children and the disabled. Experts from the government affirm that: “with the 100 percent take-up rate of those who qualify for grants, they are actually able to almost completely eradicate extreme poverty amongst children and older persons." Africa has another opportunity to seize: the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa that will provide a platform to highlight issues such as poverty. 

Africa: Activists for the Aged Press for Greater Care, Pensions in Africa (February 19, 2007)
The growing number of senior citizens is an increasing pressure on African governments. Numerous organizations ask for the implementation of social pensions to help older persons as well as their families get out of poverty. According to Tavengwa Nhongo, regional representative for HelpAge International based in Nairobi, Kenya, social pensions are affordable even for the poorest countries. Research data found that only 1.5% of GDP is required. Those pensions reduce older people’s poverty by 94%. This article gives many examples of fruitful experiments to implement universal pensions, constitutional guarantees to protect the elderly or national social security systems.

South Africa: Nest-Egg for All (February 16, 2007)
South Africa has a widespread social security system. However the old-age pension (social pension) is only available to the very poor and is funded from current budget revenues. The government is looking to create “a compulsory earnings-related social security system that will include retirement benefits for all citizens.” Indeed South Africa’s pension system is organized with a first and a third pillar, namely a welfare-based old-age pension and private savings. President Thabo Mbeki, during his State of the Nation address’ speech, stated that workers will soon be bound to contribute to a state fund, which will provide universal retirement benefits. 

Lesotho: Lesotho Pension System Proves Sceptics Wrong (November 5, 2006)

The small country of Lesotho that is surrounded by South Africa has followed its great neighbor’s example: the government has implemented an old-age pension. For the past two years, all citizens over 70 years benefit from a monthly pension of 150 maloti (R150). Despite the skepticism of the International Monetary Fund that feared corruption, the government plans to distribute R150 to more older persons. Lesotho can be proud about creating this pension that helps some of the 56% inhabitants living on less than $2 per day (about 15 maloti).

Zambia: African Governments Take Action on Social Protection (March 28, 2006)
HelpAge International highlights the importance of last week’s conference on National Social Protection in Livingstone, Zambia. The governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, plus UN agencies and development partners gathered to assess the impact of social pensions. In a region afflicted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS, 47 million older persons face terrible conditions. Social pensions and cash transfers aim to mediate this situation and improve the standard of living for older adults and their families. Government representatives reaffirmed their promise to establish social protection programs for older persons. For further information and resources on Social Protection, please visit HelpAge press release section.


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Americas and the Caribbean  

El Salvador: $50 a Month Changes the Lives of Older Salvadorians (June 24, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
16,000 older adults from 53 municipalities have benefitted from El Salvador’s Basic Universal Pension (Pensión Básica Universal).  The pension’s goal is to reduce poverty among seniors in the 100 municipalities with the highest poverty incidence.  Before the Basic Universal Pension began, 9 out of every 10 older adults who lived in rural areas did not receive a formal pension.  The program will end in 2014 with the conclusion of the presidency of Mauricio Funes.  The next government must consider continuing the project. 

Robbing the Elderly Won't Pay the Government's Rising Care Bills (July 10, 2012)
The government is trying to reduce the amount of money older persons have to pay towards pensions. However, this may come with difficulties. Nick Boles, an influential Tory backbencher, is trying to get free bus passes, TV licenses, and winter fuel allowances for the elderly. Let’s cheer on his initiative!

Venezuela: Nearly 12,000 Venezuelans to Receive Social Security (June 19, 2011)
(Article in Spanish)
The Social Security Institute of Venezuela has reformed their pension policy to include a greater range of eligible persons. Now, men who are 60 years old and women who are 55 will be able to receive monthly pensions. The number of pensioners has increased greatly in the last decade due to the numerous legal reforms that now allow over two million people to enjoy the new source of income.

Peru: Peruvians Elect New President on Pension Promise (June 16, 2011)
Influenced by the advocacy of HelpAge International’s partners, Peruvians over the age of 65 have now come a step closer to receiving social pensions after the election of Ollanta Humala-- who proposed the “Pension 65” program-- as their new president. The new program would provide 250 soles (US$90) to every older person over 65, gradually starting with those over 75 years old.

Costa Rica: Government Doubles Funds to Assist Seniors (June 14, 2012)
(Article in Spanish)
Laura Chinchilla, the President of Costa Rica, will double the funds in the Older Adult Person Council (Consejo de la Persona Adulta Mayor).  The government currently provides ¢2.500 million to the Older Adult Person Council and will increase this sum to ¢5.000 million in 2013.  This raise will finance care centers for seniors and will subsidize families and assistants that help older adults.

Report: Ecuador: The Aging and Pension Board for Older Persons and People with Disabilities is now Depositing Pensions into Savings Accounts (June 7, 2011)
(Report in Spanish)
On June 6, 2011, a new payment plan for social pensions was signed. The act will allow senior citizens and people with disabilities to have their pensions deposited directly into a savings accounts opened for them by the Central Bank of Ecuador. This new payment plan will eliminate the cost of processing each check and save a total of $27,000 nationwide in processing fees on a monthly basis.

Canada: Community Organizations Will Receive $11 Million for Seniors (March 6, 2011)
(Article in French)
The Quebec government will spend $11 million to improve living conditions for older people. The money will go to 170 organizations working for the elderly. For example, the Federation of the Golden Age of Quebec will receive $100,000 to fight against financial abuse of older persons. Another $608,000 will be granted to the Quebec Association of Gerontology to campaign against discrimination based on age.

Bolivia: The Pensions Reform Bill Proposes a State Insurance (October 25, 2010)
(Article in Spanish)
Bolivia's government is negotiating with workers and associations of older people the new Pensions Act. The bill provides, among other things, the creation of a state insurer to administer the payment of pensions creates an invalidity pension and secure benefits for widows even if they marry again. 

Nicaragua: Fourth Day of Protests by Older Adults for a Pension (October 16, 2010)
(Article in Spanish)
A group of older people protested before the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) in Managua to demand a pension. In the country there are thousands of older adults who do not meet the minimum number of payments, 750 weeks, which is what is required to qualify for a pension.

Mexico: Only 27% of Elderly People in Mexico Receive Pension, the Poorest Have None: Cepal (October 10, 2010)
(Article in Spanish)
Only 27 percent of older adults in Mexico have a pension or retirement money given to them by the government, according to research by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal). The percentage drops to almost negligible among the lower social classes.

Argentina: Pensions: the Argentine Model (September 13, 2010)

(Article in Spanish)
Two years after the nationalization of the private pension system in Argentina, the debate remains open. The government of Cristina Fernandez defended the process and notes that guarantee a dignified retirement and insurance to retirees. However, some critics say the system is fragile.

Trinidad and Tobago: Going 60 Will Bankrupt Us (August 11, 2010)
The debate on retirement ages and pension plan cuts continues in Trinidad and Tobago. Discussions on the current state of pensions and dropping the retirement age to 60 shed light on the dangers and possible advantages of these actions. It also highlights the complexity of the state of affairs for older persons in the country today.

Report: Latin America: Universal Minimum Old Age Pensions, Impact on Poverty and Fiscal Cost in 18 Latin American Countries (May 2010)
This report examines the universal minimum old age pensions in 18 Latin American countries, including their fiscal cost and impact on poverty. The authors of the report explain how a universal minimum pension would reduce poverty among older people in Latin America (except in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay where minimum pension system already exist and poverty rates are low). Also discussed in the report, are old age poverty rates in Latin American countries, and the design of the minimum pension schemes as well as their impact on the economy.

Bolivia: Bolivia Unprepared for Population Increase of Older persons (May 16, 2010)
(Article in Spanish)
Bolivia will almost double its population of citizens, aged 60 and older, in twenty years; in 2,000 there were 537,452 and in 2020 the numbers will rise to 1,007,155 people. Some associations have warned that Bolivia is not ready for this increase because the state benefit, 'Renta Dignidad,' is not sufficient to ensure quality of life for older people. 

Trinidad and Tobago: Browne: $21m for Higher Pensions (May 5, 2010)
Amery Browne, the Minister of Social Development of Trinidad and Tobago who is contesting his seat again in the upcoming elections, announced a raise in the old age pension. The increase along with other retirement benefits will cost the State $21 million more a year. The national grant for senior citizens with no source of income has increased from $1,950 to $2,500, representing a 28.2 percent increase. 

Trinidad and Tobago: Pensions Go Up to $2,500: PNM in Election Love (May 3, 2010)
In the heat of campaigns for the upcoming May 21st general elections in Trinidad and Tobago, the People's National Movement (PNM) has promised to raise pensions to $2,500 for 45,000 senior citizens and increase the minimum payable pension of retired public servants to $2,500. The PNM also proposes to remove the property tax for citizens on public assistance and those receiving the Senior Citizens’ grant. This election has brought promising words to the older persons of the country from all of the competing parties. 

Trinidad and Tobago: Pensioners get Increase, but Heavily Taxed (May 1, 2010)
Old age pensioners have won pension increases ranging from 13.5 to 35 percent. However, the increases have been heavily taxed, according to one pensioner’s interview. 

Trinidad and Tobago: NIS Consultant Predicts 'Drastic Changes' (March 5, 2010)
The National Insurance System (NIS) of Trinidad and Tobago controls the country’s social insurance and provides pension payments to retirees. After scathing scandals and corruption, the NIS has some new plans. Hubert Dolsingh, an NIS consultant, discusses lowering the lump sum payment for pensioners, increasing the qualifying age and changing the formula determining payment amounts. So far, there is no comment on how this will affect older persons in the country.

Bolivia: The Credibility of Campaign Promises (November 23, 2009)
President Evo Marales is expected to win another term in government mostly due to his successful implementation of social protection grants like the Renta Dignidad for people over 60 years old. This grant has served approximately 744,000 Bolivians since Evo Morales has assumed the presidency.

Brazil: Brazil Aid Program Making Inroads against Hunger (November 13, 2009)
Brazil’s Bolsa Familia, a social pension program, spearheaded by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been lauded by various organizations including the World Bank. Older people in Brazil benefit directly. The Bolsa Familia has greatly helped in the fight against poverty. Its simplicity, the use of an electronic base and decentralization of the Bolsa Familia are some of the technical innovations that have contributed to the success of this social policy. Other countries should take notes. 

US: SNAP Getting Food Stamps to Elderly (August 17, 2009)
In Florida many eligible older persons who have not signed up for welfare. Now, they are now starting to receive federal money as part of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The 2008 average per household from the SNAP grant was about $227, which can be spent by using an Electronic Benefits Transfer card, similar to a debit card. In this article, the writer addresses many myths and facts about the SNAP program as well. 

Peru: The State Evaluates Offering Pensions to Poor Elders (July 28, 2009)
(Article in Spanish)
The government of Peru is studying the possibility of offering non-contributory pensions (for people who did not contribute during their working life) to approximately three million older persons who have found themselves in a state of material abandonment. The program will be similar to Junto, an existing program that offers S/. 100 to women in rural areas who comply with sending their children to school and to medical centers to be immunized. 

Peru: 100 Soles Proposed for People Older than 65 (April 22, 2009)
(Article in Spanish) 
The authors of the book Aging with Dignity concluded that a special non-contributive pension of 100 soles would benefit over 500 thousand older adults in Peru. Representatives from different ministries met to discuss ways to fight poverty. They agreed that this pension would have to be accompanied by medical services, education, drinking water and electricity for the older population, who also are the most vulnerable.

Brazil: Brazil Extends Bolsa Familia During the Economic Crisis (March 20, 2009)
(Article Also in Spanish
Bolsa Familia, the largest cash transfer program in the world, providing benefits for over 11 million families, is a social pension program that’s been copied throughout the world. In Brazil’s case, the income support of families is conditional: they must meet human development requirements such as school attendance, vaccinations and proper nutrition. The program requires families to take advantage of resources that otherwise would confine generations to a life of poverty.

Bolivia: Evo Asks for an Increase in the Renta Dignidad (July 24, 2008)
(Article in Spanish)
The government has recently asked Congress to increase the amount of pension provided by Renta Dignidad to retirees and elderly with no other source of income. This increase, funded by the revenue resulting from the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons, will help many of the nation’s elderly.

Bolivia- Social Pensions in Bolivia (June 17, 2008)

(Article in Spanish)
In January 2008, the government instituted la Renta Dignidad, a non-contributory pension that provides Bolivians over 60 with Bs 200 a month. La Renta Dignidad, which replaced the Bonosol—the country’s former social pension plan--increased the amount of pension and lowered the minimum age of recipients. As a result, 676,000 elderly are now receiving pensions as opposed to 489,000 under the Bonosol. The social pension is the only source of income to 50% of its recipients and is used for necessities, mostly food and medications. 


Bolivia: Renta Dignidad (April 2008)
La Renta Dignidad, which is a non-contributory pension in Bolivia, is essential to the survival of 29% of the population living there for under $1 per day. Bolivia is the only country in Latin America with a non-contributory pension. La Renta Dignidad decreased the eligibility age and increased the amount of pension distributed in the country’s initial plan, the Bonosol. Many give credit to the National Association of Older People for advocating to improve the social pension and making older Bolivians’ lives much better. Now the Association is working to implement non-contributory pensions all over Latin America. 

Paraguay: The Elderly March Tomorrow in Search of a Social Pension and a Food Pension (September 30, 2007) 
(Article in Spanish)
On the International Day of Older Persons, a group of elder Paraguay pensioners and their supporters will demonstrate and demand action to approve a law providing a social pension and a food pension to people over 60 years living without any income. The law will propose a social pension of no less than one fourth the minimum wage. The march will take place on October first and is organized by CAMA (Counsel of the Elderly in Asuncion)

Chile: Chamber of Deputies Approve Provisional Reform that Permits Banks to Enter AFP (August 29, 2007)
(Article in Spanish)
President Michelle Bachelet’s provisional legislation to improve the pension system and the condition of retired citizens was approved by the Chamber of Deputies. One of the highlights was the agreement to permit banks to enter the “Insuring Pension Funds Entity” (AFP). Another major accomplishment was the “Solidarity Pension” which establishes a basic pension of 75,000 pesos ($147) (known as a social pension) for those elderly citizens who are not otherwise eligible for a pension. According to a government official, once the reform begins to take effect, 1.1 million Chileans will have new benefits, a minimum pension, assuring security and dignity.

Bolivia: Social Pensions, Older People Were Cheated (June 28, 2007)
(Article in Spanish)
The writer describes how schemers cheat older people out of their social pensions in Bolivia. In one scam, persons carried fake identification papers and passed through the registration process and received the social pension. Other scam artists recruit old, poor and illiterate persons to apply for the social pension and rob them as soon as they receive the money. In another case, a daughter cheated her mother by forcing her to apply for the pension and then robbed her. Law officials are investigating to learn if there is an organized network involved in this terrible scam operation. Of course, this cheating and robbery undermines public confidence in the efficacy of the social pension administration system in Bolivia. 

Bolivia: AFPs Cheat on Retired People. (May 17, 2007)

(Article in Spanish)
Bolivian retirees (people older than 65 years old), receive a social pension from the AFPs, Bolivia's leading pension fund administrator, of 1800 bolivianos (USD225). Recently around 300 people in Bolivia went to the bank to get the payment and were told that another person already had claimed it. Retired people think that a company stole the data base from the AFPs. Retirees asked the AFPs to replace the payment. AFPs denied any responsibility for the theft. Getting nowhere, the old people registered their claim with Human Rights organizations, with the Police and with the Public Ministry. Not a single person has yet received the payment. Most suspect that they will never get it. 

Uruguay: A New Social Program for Older Persons Will Triple the Beneficiaries over the Previous Program (March 28, 2007)

(Article in Spanish)
In September, a new social program will reach out to include nearly one million more people who live in poverty. The previous Plan reached the poorest poor, while the new program gives all poor families access to health, education, and jobs. The program’s old age cash allowance will now reach all those who are 65 and older, instead of 70 years of age. 

Chile: Chilean Leader Proposes Soc. Sec. Reform (December 15, 2006)
Speaking before a retirees’ organization, President Michelle Bachelet announced a change in the pension system: she expects that one million of people, generally without any coverage, would benefit from a non-contributory pension, estimated at $141 per month. Mothers, particularly women who left the workforce to raise their children, will receive an additional pension benefit. President M. Bachelet said she wants to “guarantee the security of a dignified old age.”

Argentina: Extended Moratorium for Retirees (October 23, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
In Argentina, elderly people who do not meet the required number of employment years for retirement are eligible for a plan that will allow them to receive pension. Argentine President Néstor Kirchner postponed the moratorium for older people to join this plan. This plan not only benefits the elderly, but also those who were forced into retirement due to unemployment after 30 years of registered employment.

Argentina: Plans to Improve Retirement Plans (October 8, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
In light of Argentina ’s economic crisis in the years 2001 and 2002, different companies, with the help of consultants, came up with ideas of how to improve retirement plans. The result is that three out of ten leading companies now have an optional retirement plan in addition to governmental pension. Consultants predict that this trend will contribute to the development of trust funds.

Chile: Pension Reform to Combat Systemic Poverty (September 15, 2006)
In 20 years only half of the Chilean citizens will receive more than the minimum pension. Mrs. Bachelet’s government will submit a bill to Congress by December to strengthen solidarity pensions and to reduce gender inequalities. However, some trade unions oppose the government’s maintaining the Pinochet system that requires an individual capitalization system. This privatized system, the first in Latin America, has failed to provide sufficient income for most seniors and soaks up a lot of revenue in operating costs.

Mexico A Pre-Election Quarantine Takes Effect (May 22, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
To prevent public officers’ misuse of social programs during the last month of the presidential campaign, the Mexican Electoral Institute has put a quarantine into effect prohibiting all governmental agencies and public authorities from making any attempt to influence citizens’ voting preference. In practice, this decree means that some institutions will have to stop some of their social programs. In Tamaulipas, for instance, the office for the Development of Older Persons will no longer distribute a weekly food basket to a group of extremely impoverished older persons. Presidential candidates have strongly focused their campaigns on a theme of social development and helping vulnerable groups, especially older persons. 

Venezuela: Government Makes Late Payment to Older Persons Enrolled in Social Pension Program (May 17, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
The Venezuelan government started the late payment of its monthly social benefit to older persons last week. Apparently, there were problems regarding the transfer of funds from the Treasury to the National Institute of Social Services. Older persons were unable to receive their pension in April. The government has guaranteed to solve the problems the program faces, and has also announced that it will increase the amount of the benefit. 

Bolivia: The Government Guarantees the Payment of the Bonosol (May 16, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
The Bolivian government recently nationalized the gas industry. Since 1998, Bolivia has provided—using the tax revenues from this industry—older persons, above 65, with an annual social pension of $ 225. Many fear that the government’s bold measure of taking over the gas industry will jeopardize the Bonosol. However, the president has assured Bolivians that the government will continue offering this pension. The possible change, though, might be that the Bonosol will no longer be universal, and available to all persons over 65 years, instead it may be given to only the poorest. Means testing is expensive since the country must set up a bureaucracy to verify who is "poor."


Mexico: 390,000 Older Adults Benefit from Universal Pensions in Mexico City (April 2, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
A few years ago, the government of Mexico City pioneered with a program directed to help the elderly. Every older adult —above 65—has the right to a monthly pension of $70 as well as access to free medical check-ups and prescribed drugs. This month the number of beneficiaries reached 390, 000. Local authorities, in an effort to fight back strong criticism from the opposition, stressed that the social pension scheme is not jeopardizing the government’s finances. Supporters of the universal pension model argue that Mexico has the means to implement social pensions at a national level. Although there are a number of programs that reach older persons, most older Mexicans do not have a pension and live in poverty.


Uruguay: Pension Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean Need to Be Reformed, States ECLAC (UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) (March 23, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
The ECLAC’s aging focal group presented a document on the future of social protection during a recent ECLAC session meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay. Latin America and the Caribbean urgently need income support in old age for their citizens. Only 4 out of 10 older persons in the region currently receive a pension. Many workers, especially women, work in the informal sector or in temporary jobs and, therefore, will not have access to benefits with the current system. Furthermore, ECLAC stresses the importance of expanding pension coverage and creating a system to address the needs of a rapidly increasing aging population.


Guatemala: Constitutional Court Approves Law on Social Pensions for Older Adults (March 15, 2006)
(Article in Spanish) 
The Guatemalan Constitutional Court has ordered the publication of the new legislation on the Program of Economic Support for Older Adults. The legislation enables persons above 65—who are not enrolled in a pension plan--to claim a social benefit of $65 a month. Much controversy arose around this bill because Congress passed the legislation early this year without executive approval. The bill did not receive executive power support because the government lacks the necessary resources to implement the program. María Antonia Bonilla, Minister of Finances, states that there is not enough money in the treasury; however, the government might make an effort to redistribute resources and modify its budget.

Chile: Bachelet Initiates Presidency Readjusting Pensions (March 13, 2006)

(Article in Spanish) 
The new Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, sees readjusting pensions as her top priority. The government will raise the minimum pension amount (now about $76 per month) to stabilize the retirees’ economic situation. More than a million older Chileans will benefit from this measure. Other social projects aimed at the elderly and persons with disabilities include the implementation of a universal pension system. Bachelet’s social agenda is based on quick, cost-effective actions to tackle poverty and create high impact reforms. 


Mexico: Universal Pensions Would Be Financially Possible, Says Study (March 1, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
The Center for Research and Faculty of Economics (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico says in a recent study that a system of universal pensions would be both sensible and financially possible. With the number of older people increasing sharply and the levels of poverty among the elderly rising, universal pensions are now very much needed. If managed properly, the cost of such a program will only be about 0.35% of the national budget. Mexico has a great gap between the poor and the rich according to age, where 70% of older adults live in poverty. A universal pension system would help reduce older persons’ precarious conditions in a cost-effective manner. 

Mexico: Fox Announced Social Pensions for the Elderly (January 7, 2006)
(Article in Spanish)
President Fox announced that this January the government will start its monthly payment of social pensions to the elderly affiliated to the program “Oportunidades.” “Oportunidades” is a social development project based on the premise of families saving for the future. There are currently 200,000 families enrolled in this program. The federal government will reward each family with a bonus that will double their savings. Fox stated that the program will target particularly rural and indigenous populated areas, promoting health, education, housing and pension benefits as fundamental elements for aging with dignity. 

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China: Older Persons Will Receive A State Pension (August 18, 2011)
(Article in French)
With the 12th Five-year Plan for Older Persons (2011-2015), every Chinese senior will receive a pension from the State beginning in 2015. Moreover, they will enjoy better health care and more nursing homes. Another big step forward for older Chinese people.

Philippines: Elderly Poorest of the Poor Receive Social Pension (June 24, 2011)
In the province of Capiz, about 895 older persons received a social pension. Part of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, the government of the Philippines will distribute monthly PHP500 (=USD11.49) stipends to the poorest older persons. To receive the social pension stipend, older people must be over age 77 and receive no other support, not even from relatives.

Philippines: More Baguio Senior Citizens Get Taste of Social Pension (June 21, 2011)
Thanks to the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, 34 seniors from the city of Baguio received a social pension in the amount of 1,500 Philippine Pesos (= USD34.5). According to the City Social Welfare Officer, about 78 older people in Baguio City should receive the social pension. The allowance granted to the poorest is to be used for buying medicines, essential goods and access to health services.

Philippines: Limits on Pension Rights for Elderly Draw Flak (September 6, 2010)
The Philippine government gives pensions to only those 80 years and above excluding the estimated 4.1 million elderly who are 60 years and older and in need of the pension.

India: Social Security System Towards Global Standards (May 24, 2010)
The coverage of the social security system in India is minimal in comparison to that of more developed countries. The author discusses how the Indian pension schemes do not extend beyond 10% of the population who are formally employed, leaving many non-contributors without a plan or income for their older years. 

India: Demand to MCD: Give Pension to Elderly Sex Workers (May 19, 2010)
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi gave its approval to include the physically challenged, widows and notoriously eschewed eunuchs in its pension scheme. An NGO has demanded that sex workers be included in the pension scheme as well. The NGO states that poverty and starvation affect many sex workers; a decent pension would benefit them enormously. 

India: Pensioners in Haryana to get Biometric Cards (March 25, 2010)
Technology is making pensions in India more accessible and less of a hassle. In a new project, biometric cards will be issued to pensioners in certain districts. Direct deposit will also be used for payouts to pensioners. 

Philippines: Seniors Without Pensions to Get Government Aid (July 2, 2009)
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has created a social pension program for older persons. It is targeted at persons 70 years old and older who are poor and are not members of a pension plan. Moreover, the DSWD has prepared a package of after-care services for older prison inmates, including provision of temporary cash assistance, employment, livelihood and educational assistance.

China: China to Launch Rural Social Pension Projects (June 25, 2010)
In a meeting that included China's Premier Wen Jiabao, China's State Council decided to launch social pension pilot projects that would reduce rural poverty and encourage social stability. 

China: Experts Urge Stimulus Package on Social Welfare (June 24, 2009)
In response to the global financial crisis, experts in China have called for their government to create new social pension programs to help the older population remain stable. Analysts also call for more programs focused on youth development, sound social security, and the overall strengthening of human capital.

Thailand: Advocates Call for Social Pension Scheme in Developing Countries (June 2, 2009)
Eduardo Klein of HelpAge International says that the social pension is a tool for governments to pull people out of poverty. HelpAge and other NGOs are advocating for developing countries to increase their social protection plans especially with respect to social pensions.

Thailand: Thai PM Guarantees Older People’s Right to Social Pension (April 15, 2009)
The Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has declared social pensions a basic human right and will seek ways to expand the country's current pension system to deliver income security for all older people. From April 2009, Thailand’s citizens aged 60 and above who are not receiving any government subsidies are eligible for a monthly payment of 500-baht (US$14). This, along with existing pension schemes, covers more than 5 million older people--71.4% of older people in Thailand.

Philippines: Government Should Provide Social Pension for Poor Senior Citizens 
(March 19, 2009)

The Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) is pushing for Congressional approval of a bill that would assure very poor older Filopinos a monthly social pension. Despite the facts that the Philippines is only one of two Asian countries without any social pension for older persons and evidence clearly demonstrates the benefits of social pensions, the proposed bills are not gaining ground in the Philippine legislature.

India: Aging in India (March 17, 2009)
India has the second largest population of older adults in the world. Very few older persons are covered by any kind of social pension or social security system, and rely on traditional patterns of family care. Problems of globalization compound the problem, e.g., there are more women in the workforce, smaller families and high mobility. All these obstacles limit the ability of families to provide for their older members.

Thailand: New Working Group Will Champion Pension for Thailand (January 19, 2009)
HelpAge International has coordinated a group from academia, government and UN members to advocate for a universal pension scheme in Thailand. The current means- tested scheme only benefits very poor older persons, while the universal one will increase the coverage and benefit of the social pension plan.

India: Social Security to Become a Right (August 22, 2008)
The Union Cabinet has approved the Unorganized Sector Workers’ Social Security Bill. People working in the unorganized sector will gain increased rights. The bill will provide pension rights for the aged and insurance for accidental death.

China: New Pension Insurance Scheme in Rural China Benefits Older People (August 4, 2008)
Here’s more information about the new Rural Social Pension Insurance Program that China is putting in place. The program is one of the government’s first attempts to decrease poverty among the nation’s elderly. It provides greater income security to its beneficiaries and decreases dependency. Although this insurance pension has helped many older persons, Help Age International maintains that improvements still need to be made, including an increase in the amount of pension distributed. 

Thailand: Pro-Aging Strategies for Thai Elders (January 23, 2008)
(Article in Chinese)
Adult children are abandoning an increasing number of elders in Thailand. The incidence of elders staying alone has risen by 7.1%. The retirement age may be raised from 60 to 65 years. In 1999, a social pension system was introduced and both employers and employees contribute 3% of the salary as premiums. Poor elders without pensions will get 300 Thai Baht a month for living assistance. In 2005, free dentures were given to 80,000 elders. Beginning in 2007, elders holding special assistance passes are receiving free medical treatment at 1,000 designated hospitals. 

India: Social Pensions to Benefit Another 17,456 People in Himachal (August 10, 2007) 
Himachal is a state in the north-west of India. The state government announced recently that 17,456 more people would benefit from social pensions. Namely in this region more than 200,000 older persons, widows and people with disability are eligible to receive a monthly pension. 

China: China’s Social Security Fund Grows Steadily through Sound Investment (April 12, 2007)

(Article in Chinese)
On April 12, 2007 China’s Social Security Fund Management Committee announced that the Fund has 280 billion yuan and that investment of the Fund made a profit of 19.6 billion yuan, a nearly 10% profit rate, in the last year. Xiang Huaicheng, the Committee Chair, said that “we had formed a sound and reliable practice of investing the fund.” Experts believe that the fund should target low-risk investments with a reliable rate of return.

China: Social Pension Funds Worth of RMB

60M Looted Unlawfully by Local Former Labor Relation Officials (March 10, 2006)
Recently, the National Audit Office uncovered information that local labor relations officials had unlawfully looted the Honghe County’s social pension funds worth of approximately RMB
60 Million. They took the money for their private use in YunNan Province. By the end of year 2003, only RMB1,300 thousand was left in the pension balance.

China: Pressures in China Over the Issue of Aging (March 3, 2006)
(Article in Arabic)

In its Second National Conference on Old Age, China ’s State Council called for the urgent establishment and implementation of a pension system that will secure the basic needs of older persons. The state council also proposed developing health, culture, education and physical training programs related to older persons. China ’s aging population now comprises 20% of the global aging population. The UN expects China to remain the country with the largest number of older persons in the world for the first half of the twenty-first century.

India: India to Get Its Own Social Security System (January 22, 2006)
The government of India is currently working on a bill to promote the care, maintenance and protection of senior citizens. The National Council for Older Persons and several other NGO’s have helped the government develop its program. The new system will offer services, such as an old age pension, minimum level of financial security, old age home in each district and well-equipped wards in each hospital.

South Korea: Government Pushes New Social Security System for Elderly (May 24, 2005)
The South Korean Government and ruling Uri Party officials have decided to set up long-term care insurance for senior citizens as early as 2007 in order to address the welfare needs brought on by the growing elderly population.

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Europe and Central Asia


UK: Suicides Soar Among Elderly Britons Due to Recession (July 26, 2012)
Over the past decade, suicide incidence among Britons ages 55 years and older have increased by 12%.  Men between the ages of 45 and 54 years are the most likely to commit suicide.  Loss of jobs due to the recession may have contributed toward these suicides.  Cuts in services to aid individuals with depression need to be reassessed during this campaign season.  

UK: Robbing the Elderly Won't Pay the Government's Rising Care Bills (July 10, 2012)
The government is trying to reduce the amount of money older persons have to pay towards pensions. However, this may come with difficulties. Nick Boles, an influential Tory backbencher, is trying to get free bus passes, TV licenses, and winter fuel allowances for the elderly. Let’s cheer on his initiative!

Russia: Fraud Artists Intimidated Pensioners (July 2, 2012)
(Article in Russian)
Authorities have initiated a criminal case against fraud artists.  Pretending to be medical workers, these fraudsters extorted large sums of money from pensioners.  They successfully collected more than 5 million rubles and cheated over 70 pensioners.

France: Paris: Creation of “Solidarity Paris” Contributes to Minimum Pension (February 7, 2011)
(Article in French)
While 12.6% of Parisians 60 to 74 years of age live below the poverty line, the City of Paris has created a supplement to the Solidarity Allowance for the Elderly so that no senior will be living with less than 840 Euros per month. Seniors with less than 1,100 Euros per month will also be eligible for the aid “Paris Logement [housing].” In addition, an exemption to the Personal Autonomy Allowance is provided for seniors whose incomes are less than 1,000 Euros.

France: Strikes Put to a Test the Sarkozy's Pension Reform (October 18, 2010)
(Article in Spanish)
The protests in France against government plans to rise the retirement age from 60 to 62 years intensified on Tuesday, one day before day the project will be voted in the Senate. In addition to the demonstrations, the unions have blocked for a week the 12 French oil refineries and, as a consequence, hundreds of service stations run out of gas.

Switzerland: UN Urges Developing Countries to Promote Pensions for Older People (October 1, 2010)
(Article in Spanish)
At the International Day of Older Persons, the United Nations will urge developing countries to establish pension systems for the elderly. Millions of old people in the world suffer from unequal treatment and their human rights are denied. Nowadays, one in ten is over 60 years.

Spain: Russian Pensioners in Spain (May 27, 2010)
(Article in Russian)
In Spain, all pensioners are allowed to work although they face a few conditions: they cannot work full time and must submit an application to the social security authorities if they do. To become eligible for a Spanish pension, one must be a legal resident of the country, enter the country with the intention of working for at least 5 years to replenish the pension fund, or live in Spain for 5 years as a dependent relative. 

United Kingdom: In Europe, Britain May Face Largest Debt Hurdle (May 24, 2010)
Great Britain is facing debilitating debt, as is the rest of the European Union. Among the expenditures are blamed in part for their descent into debt is the country’s “generous” pension commitment. Government officials must make the hard decision to cut expenditures, including freezing and curtailing the pension payments. GAA asks whether increased taxes on the UK richest citizens could help pay off the debt?

Bulgaria: Social Monthly Pension for Old Age Increases to 100.86 Leva (May 23, 2010)
A news release from the government of Bulgaria underlines the cabinet decision to increase the social pension for old age. This increase is related to a decision to update all pensions by 9 percent as of July 1, 2009.

Ireland: Coalition Braced for Second Showdown with Pensioners (May 14, 2010)
Ireland and other European nations are facing proposals to decrease non-contributory pensions due to the debt crises they are facing. Reducing or eliminating social pensions will only hurt the neediest and most dependent older persons. Recipients of the pension were spared last year from decreases, but the current debt crises may trigger such cuts.

Ireland: Irish Old Age Pension Could Be Cut (May 13, 2010)
The Minister of Social Protection, Éamon Ó Cuív, may not be able to prevent cutting Ireland’s Old Age Pension. Despite massive protests by older citizens against proposed policy changes, it appears likely that the new austerity plan will negatively affect them. There is still time left for the Minister to confirm any decisions affecting older people; those who oppose policy changes have promised to take action. 

Ireland: Pension Win for Farmers' Wives (April 8, 2010)
Newly appointed Social Protection Minister Eamon O Cuiv yesterday reversed the January decision by his predecessor Mary Hanafin to withdraw pensions from 268 elderly women who had been receiving contributory pensions for years of work on their family farms. This decision followed advice from the Attorney General's office and will be effective retroactively to the date on which pensions were withdrawn or reduced. All arrears due would be paid.

Ireland: Why Most of Us are Going to Have to Work Up to 10 Years Longer (March 2, 2010)
In the last four decades, Irish life expectancy has increased by 9 to 10 years. The non- contributory pension scheme faces a heavy burden as the population steadily ages. In response, the Irish government is proposing to increase the qualifying age to receive a pension. Can the citizenry handle putting off retirement for several more years?

Spain: Non-Contributive Pensioners Can Now Request 425 Euros to Cover Living Expenses (September 19, 2009)
(Article in Spanish) 
Pensioners who receive non-contributive pensions from Social Security can now pay their cost of rent and living expenses with the additional allowance of 425 euros. To be eligible for this financial aid, the interested older people must prove that they do not possess any property, that they rent their current home and that they are mentioned in the lease contract.

France: Pensions: A 7% Increased of the Social Pension (April 1, 2009)
(Article in French)
In France, older persons living alone and earning less than 677 euros ($920) a month, have the right to receive a social pension. The government plans to raise the so-called Allocation of Solidarity for Older Persons (ASPA) by 25% before 2012. After a major decrease of its beneficiaries since its creation in 1960--thanks to the generalization of the right to pension--the increase of the social pension will re-extend the number of eligible seniors and therefore the number of beneficiaries.

Croatia: SDP: Social Pensions for All Over 65 (May 7, 2007)
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) presented its retirement strategy included in its electoral program. They reproach the current system, the HDZ, for impoverishing pensioners; more than a third of Croatians have pensions lower than 1,600 kuna which is considered borderline poverty. SPD suggests equalizing everybody’s pensions first. Then they would establish social pensions for all people over 65 years old who do not have any income.

Bulgaria: Economic and Social Development Pact Signed in Bulgaria (October 2, 2006)
Following the announcement of Bulgaria’s entry into the European Union in January 2007, the national government signed an Economic and Social Development Pact (ESDP). Bulgaria revealed its new political program to increase the standard of living of citizens, as much as economic growth. As for older persons, socially disadvantaged retirees will receive a social pension that will be half of the minimum wage. That’s a significant forward step!

Russia: A Line for the Poor (September 22, 2006)
(Article in Russia)
The line of people who want to receive monetary compensation instead of social benefits grows every minute. The local offices of the Russian Pension Fund are crowded from the early mornings. People cannot understand why they have to go through this exhausting process one more time, when in June they already made their choices. According to the legislature, a pensioner has to confirm his or her choice every year. Members of Parliament, however, did not take into account that it might be not that easy for older persons to stand in a line for several hours, waiting until a social officer accepts their application once again. 

Russia: Social Benefits or Money? (September 21, 2006)
(Article in Russian)
Only 10 days are left for pensioners to decide whether they prefer to receive monetary 
compensation or they would like to enjoy social benefits such as free medication and transportation. Those who prefer monetary compensation have to file an application with the local division of the Pension Fund not later than October 1, 2006. It seems, however, that there is no right choice: the prices for the medication increase every day, so that whatever money a pensioner gets, will be wasted because of inflation; and those who do not travel every day do not need free transportation benefits.

Ireland: Standard Scheme Expected to Result in Higher Pensions for Thousands (June 9, 2006)
The Irish legislative body approved a new social welfare law reform and pensions act. A new pension framework will take effect September 2006 and will combine all non-contributory payments for people 66 years of age and older into one standard pension scheme. The government expects this reform to result in 34,000 pensioners receiving higher pensions.

Russia: Social Pensions Will Go Beyond the Minimum Living Wage (April 1, 2006)
(Article in Russian)
According to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, social pensions will reach and even go beyond the level of the minimum living wage by 2008. The amount of the social pension payment in Russia has increased by 8.3% starting April 1, 2006. Gennady Batanov, head of the Pension Fund, predicts the social pension benefits will increase to the level of the minimum living wage in the near future.

Kazakhstan: Citizens to Be Excluded from the Social Protection Program (March 31, 2006)
(Article in Russian)
The Minister of Labor and Social Justice Guhlzhana Karagusova announced that the government of Kazakhstan could exclude certain beneficiaries from the social pension program in ten years. However, she stressed that these changes will only affect persons who acquired citizenship fewer than 10-15 years before reaching the pension age. Kazakhstan is one of the few countries of the former Soviet block providing social pension benefits to all older persons who are not eligible for the labor pension. The Minister says that such changes are necessary to prevent the influx of migrants to Kazakhstan from neighboring countries in the future.

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Middle-East and North Africa

UAE: Social Care and State Responsibility (February 1, 2006)
Social Security is an international principle guaranteed by international covenants. The State honors this principle for the sake of protecting vulnerable groups in society. That is why the UAE has decided to increase the level of monthly social assistance benefiting old people. This only confirms that the UAE leadership has been assessing the needs of those entitled to such extra benefits, especially the old, so that they can meet their living costs.

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Report: Pension Crediting for Caregivers (June 2011)
This report examines pension crediting for caregivers (PCC)-- which serves as a compensation for periods of unpaid work and thus negligible pension contributions-- in Canada, Japan, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and the UK, and tries to determine its feasibility in the US. PCC is usually linked to other social benefits whose objectives are poverty alleviation, gender equality, increased fertility rates, and greater labor force participation.  

Social Protection: From Handouts to Social Justice (May 17, 2011)
Social protection, including cash transfers and other programs, has proven to be a phenomenal success story in some poor and vulnerable countries. However, what is being overlooked is that social protection is not only about installing safety nets and reducing poverty, but impacts the social contract between governments and citizens of the recipient countries.

World: Age Demands Action: Impact 2010 (March 31, 2011)
As part of the HelpAge Network’s “Age Demands Action” campaign, elderly activists in more than 50 countries called on their national governments to take action on issues affecting older people. Many succeeded in having their governments increase allowances for older citizens and improve Social Welfare.This article includes success stories from some less developed countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Report: World: UN Independent Expert: ‘Social Pensions are Critical to Human Rights’ (Spring 2010)
According to the UN’s Independent expert on human rights and extreme poverty, Magdalena Sepulveda, social pensions are critical to reducing poverty and achieving older people's right to social security. She recommends that States recognize social pensions that reach beyond a single recipient and impact the family, including helping children and grandchildren. Universal pension schemes comply with principles of universality and non-discrimination. 

World: UN Praises Latin-American Social Pension Policies to Confront Global Crisis (February 24, 2010)
Social protection policies are an integral part of the movement towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals. The UNDP has noted that the conditional cash transfer programmes, like the Oportunidades of Mexico and the Bolsa Familia of Brazil that include older people in their target population, have made inroads in the fight against poverty and are proving to be an integral part of successful social programming.

World: Social Pensions to Ease Economic Crisis (August 4, 2009)
A number of countries are expanding their social pension plans to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis. Russia, Thailand, Philippines, Lesotho, Kenya, Ecuador and Paraguay are all taking part in the effort to extend pension coverage for old people. The old age social pension is not social assistance, but rather a basic human right that everyone deserves. In the long run pensions can result in economic benefits; the more money in people's pockets to spend on basic necessities, the more demand expands. As a result, this will create more jobs in the formal sector.

World: Pensions Key to Meeting MDG Targets (July 9, 2007)

According to the OECD, old-age poverty would be 50% higher in developed countries without the existing appropriate pension system and other cash transfers. That is why social pensions are obvious instruments to fight poverty in developing countries. Such social pensions would not be a burden on poor countries’ economy: the UN estimates that “a basic universal pension to all over 60s equivalent to US$1 a day would cost less than 1% of GDP in 66 out of 100 developing countries.” Southern Africa is leading the process to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (reducing poverty, gender inequalities, hunger, etc.) since Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius and South Africa all have a social pension scheme. 

Report: UK: Pensions Not Poverty (May 2007)
Based in the United Kingdom, Help the Aged and HelpAge International launched the “pensions not poverty” campaign to raise awareness of older persons’ right to a social pension. The campaign calls on UK citizens to ask their Government to “put social pensions at the top of the international agenda and to ensure social pensions are a vital part of all relevant aid, development and debt-relief initiatives.” 

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Fact Sheet

Background Documents Reports Implementation




Older women and men are living with HIV
                          ©Leila Amanpour/HelpAge International
Social pensions also impact whole families. 

Social pensions keep the vital intergenerational link alive. With such pensions, older people can help provide for themselves and their families. Since the current “breadwinner” generation can be disabled or killed by HIV/AIDS, many children lose their parents, becoming orphaned. In such cases, older people must care for them. Often lacking food or other resources, older persons look to social pensions to buy food and – sometimes – education for these children. Social pensions also help those who suffer from HIV/AIDS who must eat some food in order to make their free retroviral drugs work. 

Social Pensions: South Africa: South African Families Coping with AIDS (August 20, 2007)
A US study from Professor Enid Schatz, University of Missouri-Columbia, showed the positive impact of “older generation's government pensions.” Many families in South Africa have to confront the death of their primary income earners because of HIV/AIDS, since the pandemic affects first the middle generation. Those social pensions, widely implemented in South Africa, help to maintain an entire household. The study gives the example of an elderly woman and her husband who support 12 people.

Social Pensions: World: UN Offers Support but No Cash for Older Carers (8 June, 2006) 
Member states adopted a new UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS on June 2, 2006 . The Declaration commits governments to provide support and rehabilitation to older people, particularly in their role as caregivers. Although HelpAge International appreciates this commitment, the organization is concerned that the Declaration contains weak human rights provisions as “it does not acknowledge older people as a vulnerable group with specific needs, and fails to set specific targets towards achieving universal access to treatment by 2010,“ says Jo Maher, HelpAge International’s HIV/AIDS Coordinator.

Help Age International: Making Cash Count: Lessons from Cash Transfer Schemes in East and Southern Africa for Supporting the Most Vulnerable Children and Households (November 2005)
This study from Help Age International and Save the Children elucidates the problem of poverty among children in southern and eastern Africa and how it affects the elderly in their society. Even though Botswana and Lesotho are rich and poor countries (respectively), they both have non-contributory social pensions. Many of the adult children of the elderly have passed away because of AIDS resulting in the elderly caring for the grandchildren. Grandparents are the most common carers of orphan children even though there is extended family. Because grandparents do not have the funding to support their grandchildren, many are living in poverty. That's why this study calls for “unconditional cash transfers” to promote a ‘progressive’ social protection agenda. Social protection is important because it includes such a broad range of programs like pensions, family allowances or child benefits, school feeding programs, and health insurance. The childhood poverty problem for the present generation will also lead to poverty for the next generation unless some changes are made to interrupt the poverty cycle.


Fact Sheet

Background Documents  Reports Implementation




United Nations International Forum on the Eradication of Poverty
(November 15-16, 2006)

To mark the end of the first UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, the UN organized an international forum from November 15 to 16. The forum addressed key developments in policy and practice over the past ten years and identified future challenges.

See the report by GAA Program Coordinator Alischa Kugel:
United Nations: Report on the UN International Forum on the Eradication of Poverty (November 2006)

Access the Presentations

Intergenerational Poverty


- Jo Maher, HIV &  AIDS coordinator, Help Age International

Tackling Poverty with Social Transfers to Vulnerable Groups: Evidence from Africa


Professor Michael Samson, Director of Research at the EPRI

Poverty, Social Security and Human Rights. Lessons from OECD Experience


- Professor Peter Townsend, London School of Economics

Mainstreaming Decent Work into Poverty Reduction Strategies


- Professor Martha Chen, Harvard University, WIEGO


Social Protection Initiatives for Children, Women and Families: An Analysis of Recent Experiences (October 30-31, 2006)

The panelists described how older persons (and others) benefit from income support. UNICEF and the New School sponsored the social protection event last week. 
Intern Jenn Nazareno attended for GAA and selected these articles that refer directly or indirectly to older persons.

Access the Presentations

Who are the Vulnerable Children? Exploring the Implications of Different Criteria for Determining Eligibility for Program Assistance


- Katie Schenk, Lewis Ndhlovu, Stephen Tembo, Andson Nsune, Chozi Nkhata, RAPIDS

Social Protection Schemes in West and Central Africa: A Proposal for Renewal


Sidya Ould El Hadj and Medou Diakhate

The Malawi Social Cash Transfer Pilot Scheme, Preliminary Lessons Learned


- Bernd Schubert, Mayke Huijbregts

Social Protection for Children and their Families: A Global Overview


- Sheila B. Kamerman and Shirley Gatenio Gabel

Targeting Efficiency and Poverty Reduction Effects of Means-Tested and Universal Child Benefits in Russia


- Franziska Gassmann and Geranda Notten



Fact Sheet

Background Documents






Grow Up Free From Poverty Coalition
Over 24 NGOs and faith groups come together to build in the Grow Up Coalition. Social protection, including old age cash transfers lie at the heart of the Coalition's advocacy campaign to eradicate poverty. This page provides resources on the topic. 

HelpAge International: Social Protection
This rich resource provides background information as well as case and country studies on the effectiveness of social pensions. 

International Labour Organization: Social Security Department: Pensions
This page provides an overview on the effectiveness and affordability of social pensions. 

International Labour Organization: Social Security Policy and Development Branch
The ILO's Social Security and Development Brach provides information on the Campaign for Social Security and Coverage for All as well as its Step Programme, which provides strategies and tools against social exclusion and poverty to policy makers.

International Poverty Center: Cash Transfers and Social Protection
The International Poverty Center is a joint project by the UN Development Program and the Brazil government to foster South-South cooperation on poverty research. This link highlights the International Poverty Center's " publications on cash transfers and includes other important research papers, evaluation reports and interviews on the topic from multilateral organizations, NGOs, governments and practitioners." 

UNICEF: Policy Analyses
This web-page provides links to UNICEF's work on social protection. It includes articles and reports on the importance of social protection in fighting intergenerational poverty.
World Bank: Social Protection Sector
This web-page provides information on the Bank's social protection programs. Topics for further research include pensions, transfers and social funds. 


Fact Sheet

Background Documents Reports  Implementation



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