Why does Asia need well-functioning pension systems?

Authored by: Gemma Estrada , Donghyun Park , Cynthia Petalcorin , Shu Tian

Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Development in Asia

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138182189
eBook ISBN: 9781351008204
Adobe ISBN:


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Donghyun Park and Gemma Estrada discuss social safety nets for the elderly in “Why does Asia need well-functioning pension systems?” Due to rapid population aging, Park and Estrada state, the number of retirees per worker is increasing. As such, economic security for the elderly looms on the horizon as one of the region’s most significant strategic challenges, but the region is ill equipped to meet this challenge. In this chapter, Drs. Park and Estrada examine the pension systems of eight East Asian countries – China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, all of which are witnessing a sustained rise in the share of the elderly relative to the labor force and total population. They show that extensive social and economic transformation is endangering the economic security of the elderly, and formal pension systems must fill the gap.

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