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Wed Oct 1, 2014, 05:24 AM

Older people benefit worldwide from the rise of social pensions

Many nations bracing for a demographic tidal wave of older people are scrambling to create pensions that provide some financial security in old age.

Only half the world’s population now can expect to receive even a basic pension in their later years, according to the 2014 Global Age Watch Index, released today to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.

But in a dramatic shift in policy, many countries are creating universal pensions for their old, the report found. In more than 100 countries that have established social pensions, financial conditions for older people have improved dramatically.

“Some countries have really seized the mantle,” said Toby Porter, chief executive of HelpAge International, a nonprofit that produced the annual study, which ranks 96 countries on the social, physical and economic well-being of their elderly. “Brazil, Chile, China and Mexico are showing that it’s possible … The rise of social pensions signals a shift in thinking.”


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