Keeping the Promise of Social Security in Latin America

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Jan 2005
Empirical analysis of two decades of pioneering pension and social security reform in Latin America and the Caribbean shows that much has been achieved, but that critical challenges remain. In tackling this unfinished agenda, a great deal can be learned from the reform experience of countries in the region. 'Keeping the Promise of Social Security in Latin America', produced by the chief economist's office in the Latin America and Caribbean Region at the World Bank, evaluates policy reforms in 12 countries, points to successes and shortcomings, and proposes priorities and options for future reform. The authors argue that preventing poverty in old age should be the primary objective of public pension schemes, and that this goal can best be achieved by relentless efforts to extend coverage to broader segments of society, and by encouraging (though not necessarily mandating) personal saving. This publication belongs to the Latin American Development Forum Series (LADF), sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the World Bank.