Some Asian countries have especially generous pension systems,judging by how much they pay in relation to average earnings. These “replacement rates” are considerably higher in Pakistan and China,for example,than the average for the mainly rich 30 OECD economies. This is one of several weaknesses in Asian retirement-income provision. In most countries the proportion of the workforce covered by mandatory pension plans is worryingly low. Early retirement,especially for women,exacerbates the financial strain on pension systems. Early action is needed to tackle these shortcomings,argues the OECD,since Asian populations will undergo rapid ageing over the next two decades.
© The Economist Newspaper Limited 2008