Global Pension Systems and Their Reform: Worldwide Drivers, Trends and Challenges

29 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2013

See all articles by Robert Holzmann

Robert Holzmann

University of Malaya; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); World Bank

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Date Written: April‐June 2013


Across the world, pension systems and their reforms are in a constant state of flux driven by a shifting focus, moving reform needs, and a changing enabling environment that reflect objective events but also changes in views and perception. The ongoing worldwide financial crisis and the adjustment to an uncertain “new normal” will make future pension systems different from past ones. The objectives of this article are: i) to briefly review recent and ongoing key changes that are triggering reforms; ii) to outline the main reform trends across pension pillars over the last two decades; and iii) to present key policy areas on which the pension reform community will need to focus to make a difference.

Keywords: pension scheme, social security reform, social security planning, demographic aspect, old age risk, economic conditions, international

Suggested Citation

Holzmann, Robert, Global Pension Systems and Their Reform: Worldwide Drivers, Trends and Challenges (April‐June 2013). International Social Security Review, Vol. 66, Issue 2, pp. 1-29, 2013, Available at SSRN: or

Robert Holzmann (Contact Author)

University of Malaya ( email )

University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50603

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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