Welcome to Pension watch

Pension watch is a comprehensive online resource on non-contributory (social) pensions.

In low and middle income countries the majority of older people do not recieve a pension. Social pensions are non-contributory cash transfers paid regularly to older people. They are widely acknowledged to be one of the most effective social protection tools to reduce old age poverty and invest in human capital development. They can help older people live with dignity and support the realisation of the human right to an adequate standard of living. Find out how much a social pension would cost in your country, visit our knowledge centre, view our blogs or download our social pensions database.

www.pension-watch.net has been developed by HelpAge International with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The website has a wide range of publications and country evidence to provide a global overview on social pensions, and their role in development. It aims to become the most comprehensive knowledge base on social pensions.


Click to use our interactive social pensions map.

Global AgeWatch Index : Focus on Income security

Global AgeWatch Index 2015 Cover The Global AgeWatch Index presents a unique snapshot of the situation of older people in 96 countries of the world today.
It highlights which countries are doing best for their older populations and how this links with policies towards pensions, health, education, employment and social environment.
The 2014 Insight report had a special focus on income security. It looked at how extending pension coverage improved income security in later life. The 2015 insight report calls for the inclusion of statistics on older persons in global data sets.

Visit the Global AgeWatch Index website to find out more.

Pension watch series

Read our briefings on social pensions

Social pensions database

Our social pensions database has the latest data on over 100 non-contributory pension schemes around the world.

Pensions in action

Watch our film "Social Protection for Older People in Africa"

Latest resources

  • Older citizen monitoring

    Year: 2016 | Published by: HelpAge International

    Author: A. Livingstone, C. Knox-Vydmanov, L. Donaldson and A. Heslop

    This report provides insight into the HelpAge network's experience of older citizen monitoring (OCM) since 2002. OCM is a form of community based monitoring,...

  • Social protection for older people in extreme poverty in Peru (Spanish)

    Year: 2016 | Published by: HelpAge International

    Author: Pension 65 Team

    This brief highlights some of the key features and achievements of the Pension 65 programme introduced in 2011 to reduce poverty and vulnerability among...

See more resources in our knowledge centre.

Thanks, Otto! 125 years of pensions

125 years ago Otto von Bismarck introduced the first public pension in Germany - which influenced the development of pension systems across the world. But the world has changed dramatically since Bismarck's time, and many people still don't recieve a pension when they reach old age. 

On 28 and 29 October 2014 we held a discussion on the origins and future of pension systems around the world. 

Find out more

Pensions calculator

How much would a social pension cost in your country? Use our pensions calculator to find out.