Journal Article

Social security in Latin America: recent reforms and challenges

Abstract: Over the last decade Latin American countries have served as the world's laboratory for pension systems based upon individual retirement savings accounts. In the 1990s several countries in the region followed Chile's lead in setting up individual accounts, and since that time countries throughout the world have looked to the region for lessons. ; This article summarizes the broad range of pension reforms in Latin America and highlights some of the most noteworthy and unique features of each country's reforms. Some countries have adopted defined-contribution individual accounts as a replacement for state-run pension systems; other countries have embraced mixed systems or have made individual accounts optional and supplementary. The authors also examine some of the most serious policy challenges faced by governments implementing the new systems. Policymakers are seeking to reduce administrative costs, limit evasion, incorporate new categories of workers into the system, and improve competition in the pension fund industry. ; The authors conclude that pension reforms are continuously subject to revision and that reform itself can be an incremental process. Latin America's social security systems are likely to continue to attract international attention from policymakers as governments worldwide confront the challenges of pension reform.

Keywords: Latin America; Social security;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Part of Series: Economic Review

Publication Date: 2001

Volume: 86

Issue: Q1

Pages: 41-52