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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article assesses the impact of national pension systems on inequality and poverty, and considers how cost-saving reform in these systems may affect the redistributional effects of pensions. It first explores the inequality-reducing effects of pensions within a one-year time horizon. A pension program collects contributions from active workers and their employers and distributes monthly payments to retired or disabled workers and the dependents of deceased workers. On the whole pension recipients are poorer than contributors, so with a one-year time horizon, pension systems undeniably redistribute from the better off to the less affluent. Most of the cross-national literature on the redistributional impact of pensions focuses on their effects within a one-year accounting framework.

Keywords: pension systems, poverty, inequality, pensions, pension recipients, pension redistribution

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