Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Civil-service pension schemes around the world

Palacios, Robert (2006): Civil-service pension schemes around the world. Published in: Social Protection Discussion Paper

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There are separate pension schemes for civil servants (and often for other public-sector workers) in about half of the world’s countries, including some of the largest developing economies, such as Brazil, China and India. In the higher-income, OECD countries, spending on pensions for public-sector workers makes up one quarter of total pension spending. In less developed countries, this proportion is usually higher. Yet, very little has been written on the design and reform of civil-service pension plans, especially when compared with the voluminous literature on national pension programs. This paper provides the first, detailed cross-country comparison of the terms and conditions of national and public-sector pension schemes. Civil-service schemes are typically more generous than national pension programs. Analysis of current pension spending shows that pensions for public-sector workers are a bigger burden on the government budget in developing countries than they are in higher-income economies.

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