54 research outputs found

    Assessing the sustainability of pension reforms in Europe

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    Spurred by the ageing transition, many governments have made wide-ranging reforms, dramatically changing Europe's pensions landscape. Nevertheless there remain concerns about future costs, while unease about adequacy is growing. This study develops a comprehensive framework to assess pension system sustainability. It captures the effects of reforms on the ability of systems to alleviate poverty and maintain living standards, while setting out how reforms change future costs and relative entitlements for different generations. This framework differs from others, which just look at generosity at the point of retirement, as it uses pension wealth - the value of all transfers during retirement. This captures the impact of both longevity and changes in the value of pensions during retirement. Moreover, rather than focusing only on average earners with full careers, this framework examines individuals at different wage levels, taking account of actual labour market participation. The countries analysed cover 70% of the EU’s population and include examples of all system types. Our estimates indicate that while reforms have decreased generosity significantly, in most, but not all, countries the poverty alleviation function remains strong, particularly where minimum pensions have improved. However, moves to link benefits to contributions have made some systems less progressive, raising adequacy concerns for women and those on low incomes. The consumption smoothing function of state pensions has declined noticeably, suggesting the need for longer working lives or additional private saving for individuals to maintain pre-reform living standards. Despite the reforms, the size of entitlements of future generations should remain similar to that of current generations, in most cases, as the effect of lower annual benefits should be offset by longer retirement. Though reforms have helped address the financial challenge faced by pension systems, in many countries pressures remain strong and further reforms are likely.Social Security and Public Pensions; Retirement; Poverty; Retirement Policies

    Funded pension schemes: Economic effects and policy implications

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    This paper reviews alternative pension systems and examines the arguments in favour of funded pension schemes. The benefits of the latter derive mainly from long-term economic efficiency gains rather than from the immediate relief of pressures on the fiscal balance. Indeed, the transition towards a funded scheme could imply an increase in government expenditure in the short run. Fiscal consolidation and the attainment of equilibrium in the external balance are essential prerequisites for a move towards a funded pension system to be conducted successfully.pension reform, funded pension systems, economics of ageing

    Assessing employment in Malta

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    In this paper the total number of employed and the full-time equivalent employment in Malta are estimated for the last three decades. These series give a new picture of the historical development of employment and productivity in Malta. The estimated full-time equivalent time series, in spite of its limitations, is a first step on the way towards a comprehensive statistical measure of labour input in Maltaemployment trends, productivity

    The Framework of Monetary Policy in Malta

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    This paper describes the monetary policy framework of Malta preceding EU accession and its entry in the EMU. It reviews the rationale behind the fixed exchange rate regime that constituted Malta's monetary policy framework and argues that entry in the EMU consolidates this framework and gives additional benefits.monetary policy

    The adoption of the European System of Accounts 1995 framework in the national accounts of Malta

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    The release of ESA 1995 GDP data for Malta has ushered in great changes in the way in which the Maltese economy can be analysed. Indicators computed from the new national accounts reveal that the Maltese economy has achieved a relatively high degree of convergence with the European average, especially when compared with other new Member States. However some industries which are less subject to competitive pressures under-perform compared with their European counterparts, while employment rates remain very low.national accounts, productivity, sectoral analysis

    Pension policy design : the core issues

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    The last two decades have been characterised by significant changes in national pension arrangements. While at first, a consensus seemed to be evolving around a one-size-fits-all reform, more recently the trend has been towards a better customisation of reforms. This paper reviews this process, focusing on five pension policy design issues. These are how policymakers have sought to optimise poverty alleviation effectiveness; the redefinition of the state’s role in smoothing incomes over the life-course; the balancing of contributions to benefits; adjusting the system to be more responsive to demographic, economic and social changes; and ensuring that reforms will be long-lasting. While the role of state pensions still appears to be on a diminishing path, there has been a growing realisation of the need to ensure that they remain adequate. This has led to the setting up of innovative minimum pension schemes and credits for periods of childcare and unemployment. The expanding role of private pensions has also led governments to intervene more in their operation. Policymakers have shown strong interest in automatic adjustment mechanisms, to try to bring about required economic changes. However there is greater understanding that for the latter to happen, the state has to engage more with its citizens. While changes in pension systems can help societies respond to the ageing transition, for instance by removing incentives to retire too early or by aligning better the generosity of benefits to contributions made, there will need to be a much broader policy response.peer-reviewe

    Pension reform sustainability in the EU : a pension wealth-based framework

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    Most assessments of pension sustainability focus on the projected fall in spending. However interest in the impact on adequacy, usually measured by replacement rates, is increasing. In this paper we show that replacement rates have significant defects, related to being point-in-time indicators and the use of unrepresentative assumptions. We argue for the use of pension wealth calculated using more realistic assumptions. Looking at ten EU countries, we find that while generosity decreased significantly, systems’ effectiveness in alleviating poverty remain strong in countries where minimum pensions were improved. However, moves to link benefits to contributions have raised concerns for women and for those on low incomes. Though reforms have reduced the fiscal challenge of ageing, in many countries pressures will persist and further reforms are likely.peer-reviewe
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