Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Pensions in the Middle East and North Africa: time for change

Robalino, David and Whitehouse, Edward and Mataoanu, Anca and Musalem, Alberto and Sherwood, Elisabeth and Sluchynsky, Oleksiy (2005): Pensions in the Middle East and North Africa: time for change. Published in: (2005)

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While other regions — Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America in particular — have been active in pension reform, the Middle East and North Africa have lagged behind. In part this is because of the belief that favourable mean financial problems are still far in the future and pension reform is therefore not a priority.

However, pension systems in the Middle East and North Africa face important structural problems. They distort the economy, tend to favour middle- and high-income workers at the expense of low-income workers and cover only a modest share of the workforce (33% on average), mostly workers in the public sector and the formal private sector. Financial problems are also starting to develop: even if favorable demography persists, benefit promises are out of line with contribution rates and retirement ages.

This book puts forward a comprehensive framework to guide discussion about pension reform in the Middle East and North Africa.

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