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Flagship Publications

China's Pension System: A Vision
by Mark Dorfman, Robert Holzmann, Phillip O'Keefe, Dewen Wang, Yvonne Sin, and Richard Hinz, 2013/01

A comprehensive reform of China's pension and social security systems is essential in achieving a harmonious society and sustainable development. This volume suggests a national pension system that no longer distinguishes along urban and rural locational or hukou lines yet takes account of the diverse nature of employment relations and capacity of individuals to make contributions. The report offers proposal for strengthening old-age income protection in China and suggests design options to achieve it.

Matching Contributions for Pensions
edited by Richard Hinz, Robert Holzmann, David Tuesta, and Noriyuki Takayama, 2012/10

This publication reviews diverse country approaches on contribution matches as incentives for participating in pension saving systems. Originating in several high-income settings there are now a number of innovations and substantial experience in low-income countries in using this design to stimulate coverage and savings. This experience now provides a rich opportunity for learning, not just from the longer experience of a few high-income countries but also the more meaningful South-South learning acrossdeveloping countries.

La Cobertura de los Sistemas Previsionales en América Latina: Conceptos e Indicadores
by Rafael Rofman and María Laura Oliveri, 2012/01

This paper presents an analysis of the pension systems in Latin America in the recent decades. It includes the results of the collection, review and processing of households surveys from 18 countries in the region, covering in some cases a period of almost 40 years. The analysis was meant to measure the welfare coverage among both the economically active population and the elderly, taking into account different variables.

Governance and Investment of Public Pension Assets: Practitioners' Perspectives
by Sudhir Rajkumar and Mark C. Dorfman (editors), 2010/12

This publication brings together contributions from more than 30 pension fund practitioners, policy makers, regulators, and experts from around the world. It illuminates key issues related to the governance and investment management of pension funds using real-world examples. The editors designed the volume as an accessible guidebook for senior policy makers seeking practical ways to tackle the issues they face in governance and investment of public pension assets.

New Policies for Mandatory Defined Contribution Pensions: Industrial Organization Models and Investment Products
by Gregorio Impavido, Esperanza Lasagabaster and Manuel Garcia-Huitron, 2010/06

This publication (i) discusses the main implications for the functioning of mandatory defined contribution pensions of consumers’ inability to make rational choices; (ii) describes how jurisdictions have tried to address these problems through ad hoc policy interventions; and (iii) proposes new policy directions in the areas of industrial organization models and investment products to address these concerns more effectively. Written for practitioners and researchers around the world, this book provides access to new thinking on mandatory defined contribution pension systems and it makes an important contribution to the on-going policy debate on how to best structure mandatory defined contribution pillars.

Evaluating the Financial Performance of Pension Funds
edited by Richard Hinz, Rudolph Heinz, Pablo Antolin and Juan Yermo, 2010/06

The book begins with an evaluation of the financial performance of funded pension systems using the standard mean variance framework. It then provides a discussion of the limitations inherent to applying these methods to pension funds and outlines the many other issues that should be addressed in developing more useful and meaningful performance measures through the formulation of pension-specific benchmark portfolios. Practical implementation issues are addressed through empirical examples of how such benchmarks could be developed. The book concludes with commentary and observations from several noted pension experts about the need for a new approach to performance measurement and the impact of the recent global financial crisis on pension funds.

Closing the Coverage Gap: The Role of Social Pensions and Other Retirement Income Transfers
edited by Robert Holzmann, David A. Robalino, Noriyuki Takayama, 2009/06

This book discusses how social pensions and other retirement income transfers can be used to close the coverage gap of mandatory pension systems. The book is organized in three parts. The first part makes the case for these programs by assessing the extent of the coverage gap around the world and evaluating the vulnerability to poverty of the elderly.

Adequacy of Retirement Income after Pension Reforms in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe: Eight Country Studies
by Robert Holzmann and Ufuk Guven, 2009/03

Nine case studies - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Serbia - suggest the following broad policy conclusions: (i) fiscal sustainability has improved in most study countries, but few are fully prepared for the inevitability of population aging; (ii) the linkage between contributions and benefits has been strengthened, and pension system designs are better suited to market conditions; (iii) levels of income replacement are generally adequate for all but some categories of workers (including those with intermittent formal sector employment or low lifetime wages); (iv) further reforms to cope with population aging should focus on extending labor force participation by the elderly to avoid benefit cuts that could undermine adequacy and very high contribution rates that could discourage formal sector employment; and (v) more decisive financial market reforms are needed for funded provisions to deliver on the return expectations of participants.

Aging Population, Pension Funds, and Financial Markets: Regional Perspectives and Global Challenges for Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe
edited by Robert Holzmann, 2009/03

This book examines how well the financial systems in the CESE economies were prepared for the challenges of multipillar pension reform, how ready they are for the approaching payout of benefits to the first participants, whether returns from pension funds can be sustained in an aging population, and how determined policy actions might be implemented to complete financial market development.

Pensions at a Glance Special Edition: Asia/Pacific (7.3mb pdf)

This study presents a range of indicators to enable comparisons between the economies of the Asia/Pacific region. It also includes data for key countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development (OECD). It builds on the OECD’s Pensions at a Glance reports, published in 2005 and 2007, which looked at the 30 OECD member countries. It also reflects the work underlying the joint World Bank/OECD report Pensions Panorama, which explored the pension systems of 53 countries. These included countries in Eastern Europe/Central Asia, Latin America/Caribbean and Middle East/North Africa (Whitehouse, 2007). Pensions at a Glance: Asia/Pacific is also joint work between the World Bank and the OECD, along with the OECD/Government of Korea Regional Centre on Health and Social Policies (RCHSP).

Pension Reform in Southeastern Europe: Linking to Labor and Financial Market Reforms
edited by Robert Holzmann, Landis MacKellar and Jana Repansek, 2008/10

At the initiative of the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF), a conference “International Forum on Pension Reform: Exploring the Link to Labor and Financial Market Reforms” was held in Slovenia, June 7-9, 2007. High officials from ministries of finance, labor, social affairs, and central banks presented their country statements on pension, labor, and financial sector reforms. Invited experts explored various reform needs of pension systems and of labor and financial markets. This book gathers that important discourse in one place.

Risk-Based Supervision of Pension Funds: Emerging Practices and Challenges
edited by Greg Brunner, Roberto Rocha and Richard Hinz, 2008/04

This book provides a review of the design and experience of risk-based pension fund supervision in countries that have been leaders in the development of these methods. The utilization of risk-based methods originates primarily in the supervision of banks. In recent years it has increasingly been extended to other types of financial intermediaries, including pension funds and insurers. The trend toward risk-based supervision of pensions reflects an increasing focus on risk management in both banking and insurance based on three key elements: capital requirements, supervisory review, and market discipline. Although similar in concept to the techniques developed in banking, its application to pension funds has required modifications, particularly for defined contribution funds that transfer investment risk to fund members. The countries examined - Australia, Denmark, Mexico, and the Netherlands - provide a range of experience that illustrates both the diversity of pension systems and the approaches to risk-based supervision, and also presents a commonality of focus on sound risk management and effective supervisory outcomes.

From Red to Gray: The "Third Transition" of Aging Populations in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
by Mukesh Chawla, Gordon Betcherman and Arup Banerji, 2007/01

Conventional wisdom holds that aging populations are unfavorable for economic growth because of their potential impacts on labor supply, productivity, and savings. When this is coupled with the increased spending pressures because of pension requirements and health care, aging societies are likely to face serious fiscal problems. This report addresses these concerns in the unique context of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union where many countries are aging rapidly without the economic resources and institutional capacity of other aging societies in Western Europe and Japan.

Pensions Panorama: Retirement-Income Systems in 53 Countries
Also available in Russian and Spanish
by Edward Whitehouse, 2006/01

Thie book combines painstaking, rigorous analysis with a clear, easy-to-understand presentation of empirical results. While the author does not advocate any particular kind of pension system or type of pension reform, the analysis presented can inform debates on retirement-income systems. A core concern is social sustainability, which involves the future adequacy of pension benefits, the impact of pension reforms on income distribution among older peoples, and the means to combat old-age poverty. Pensions Panorama is a useful resource for policy makers, government oficials, and others involved in pension reform.

Pension Reform: Issues and Prospects for Non-Financial Defined Contribution (NDC) Schemes
Also available in Chinese
edited by Robert Holzmann and Edward Palmer, 2006/01

This book presents 24 state of the art papers on the conceptual foundations and issues surrounding non-financial, or notional, defined contribution plans (NDCs), country implementation of NDCs (Italy, Latvia, Poland, and Sweden), and case studies for countries where NDCs are figured in the reform debate. This book is intended as a handbook for academics and policy makers who want to become informed about what NDC is and to learn about the pros and cons of this attractive reform proposal.

Old-Age Income Support in the 21st Century: An International Perspective on Pension Systems and Reform
Also available in Chinese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish
by Robert Holzmann and Richard Hinz, 2005/01

This book attempts to explain current policy thinking and update the World Bank's perspective on pension reform. The Bank has been involved in pension reforms in nearly 60 countries, and the demand for its support continues to grow. This book incorporates lessons learned from recent Bank experiences and research that have significantly increased knowledge and insight regarding how best to proceed in the future.

Pensions in the Middle East & North Africa: Time for Change
by David Robalino, 2005/05

This book takes stock of current mandatory pension systems in the region, assesses the magnitude and nature of the main problems, and outlines the common components of an integrated reform strategy.

Pension Reform in Europe: Process and Progress
edited by Robert Holzmann, Mitchell Orenstein and Michal Rutkowski, 2003/02

Few topics on the economic reform agenda attract more attention in countries throughout Western, Central, and Eastern Europe than pension reform. And there is hardly any other area in the European policy debate where reform progress has been more uneven between countries. The difference between need and outcome does not appear to reflect underlying reform pressures, so what are the causes this unevenness? This book represents a major attempt to solve this puzzle, with contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in economics and political sciences. This book shows the current stage of knowledge in the pension area, and indicates areas needing further research. The research should lead to a better understanding of process and progress of European pension reform, for the benefit of the reform agenda in Europe and other regions of the world.

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