In recent days, the ILO - International Labour Organization, has published its new report on "World Social Protection". See:
This important report has a special section regarding the "Social Protection for Older Women and Men".
Here are the key messages of this report regarding older persons:
Pensions for older women and men are the most widespread form of social protection in
the world, and a key element in SDG 1.3. At the global level, 68 per cent of people above
retirement age receive a pension, either contributory or non-contributory.
Significant progress has been made in extending pension system coverage in developing
countries. Universal pensions have been developed in Argentina, Belarus, the Plurinational
State of Bolivia, Botswana, Cabo Verde, China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Maldives,
Mauritius, Mongolia, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Trinidad
and Tobago, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Zanzibar (United Republic of Tanzania).
Other developing countries, such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Kazakhstan and
Thailand, are near universality.
However, the right to social protection of older persons is not yet a reality for many. In most
low-income countries, less than 20 per cent of older persons over statutory retirement age
receive a pension. In many developing countries, a large proportion of older persons still
depend heavily on family support arrangements.
Observed trends vary substantially across regions and even between countries within the
same region. In countries with comprehensive and mature systems of social protection, with
ageing populations, the main challenge is to maintain a good balance between financial sustainability
and pension adequacy. At the other extreme, many countries around the world are
still struggling to extend and finance their pension systems; these countries face structural
barriers linked to development, high levels of informality, low contributory capacity, poverty
and insufficient fiscal space, among others.
A noticeable trend in developing countries is the proliferation of non-contributory pensions,
including universal social pensions. This is very positive, particularly in countries with high
levels of informality, facing difficulties in extending contributory schemes. Trends show that
many countries are succeeding in introducing a universal floor of income security for older
Public schemes, based on solidarity and collective financing, are by far the most widespread
form of old-age protection globally. Pension privatization policies, implemented in the past
in a number of countries, did not deliver the expected results, as coverage and benefits did
not increase, systemic risks were transferred to individuals and fiscal positions worsened. As
a result, a number of countries are reversing privatization measures and returning to public
Recent austerity or fiscal consolidation trends are affecting the adequacy of pension systems
and general conditions of retirement. In several countries, these reforms are putting at risk
the fulfilment of the minimum standards in social security, and eroding the social contract.
Countries should be cautious when designing reforms to ensure that pension systems fulfil
their mission of providing economic security to older persons.