Pensions and Social Protection in Central Asia and South Caucasus: developments in the post-Soviet era
Year: 2010 | Published by: University of Southampton
At independence all the countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) inherited a extensive system of social welfare, including a comprehensive pay-as-you-go pension system characterised by low retirement ages, relatively generous opportunities for early retirement for selected groups and high replacement rates. The economic dislocation of the early 1990s had significant consequences for the pension systems in the region. Rising unemployment and economic restructuring reduced the contribution base, increasing system dependency rates. In the face of falling public expenditure many countries undertook wide ranging reforms of the pension system – including tightening eligibility criteria, increasing retirement ages, and moves away from defined benefits towards defined contribution systems. This paper details the impact of transition on pension systems during the 1990s, through to the mid 2000s in the region as a whole. It then focuses on the first wave of pension reforms and the current pension systems in the region today in four case study countries: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
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