This paper looked at the risk of old age poverty. It found that there is a growing awareness in societies, amongst governments as well as amongst households of the risk of old age poverty and the need for savings and pension products and policies. However, at the same time we identified also some serious reluctance to change the existing behavior of household members with respect to financially preparing for old age. In the China case the strongly increased nationwide pension coverage did not lead yet to a robust
decline of the household savings. Households, for the time being, still spread the risks for old age poverty in both pensions and savings. In the India case the women in the informal economy were willing to invest in a long term new micro finance pension product, but were not willing to move their short term savings in the old program into the new long term micro finance program.
Social protection policymaking in emerging countries often is no longer a purely national process, since on regional and international level various (research, policy making and financial) institutes encourage national governments to initiate or adjust their social protection policies with respect to older people. The case studies of Peru and of India show how this strong influence of international institutions and of NGO’s could lead to closing the pension coverage gap. The paper concludes that the policies and practices have a different impact on men and women, taking into account their age, educational level and care responsibilities. Download the paper here.