The Gender Impact of Pension Reform in Latin America--and Broader Policy Implications

Research Report

The Gender Impact of Pension Reform in Latin America--and Broader Policy Implications

Abstract

Over the past two decades multipillar pension systems that include both a public defined benefit (DB) and private defined contribution (DC) pillar have been adopted in many countries. Critics of these pension reforms argue that the tight link between payroll contributions and benefits in the DC pillar will produce lower pensions for women. In contrast, supporters of these reforms argue that multipillar systems remove distortions that favored men and permit a more targeted public pillar that will help women. To test these conflicting claims about multipillar reforms, and to analyze more generally the gender impact of alternative pension systems, this paper examines the differential impact on the two genders of the new and old systems in three Latin American countries--Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. Simulations based on household survey data indicate that low earning married women are the biggest gainers from the reform.

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