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Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad and Mr. Jean-Luc Schneider
In the USSR in 1990, social security reforms led to the imposition of a uniform system of benefits in a large and demographically diverse country. This required inter-regional transfers, which are now no longer feasible with the demise of the USSR. Relatively high contribution rates also pose a problem for a nascent commercialized sector. The paper argues that benefit levels in some former Soviet Union countries are now unsustainable. The price shock associated with the “transition” to a market economy should lead to a consideration of a “mix” of policies, including a basic benefit in kind. While funded systems may eventually reduce contribution rates, there are implementation difficulties in the medium term.
Sergio Lugaresi, Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad, Mr. Jean-Luc Schneider, and Mr. Alex Mourmouras
In many countries of the former Soviet Union, pensioners form a large and vulnerable group of the population, with pensions fixed in nominal terms. Attempts to “protect” this group have included a revaluation of benefits for retirees and the introduction of indexation arrangements based on recent wage and price growth. In this paper, lagged indexation arrangements are shown to have large destabilizing effects that can potentially jeopardize the macroeconomic adjustment effort, particularly as inflation begins to decelerate. Some long-term problems relating to the aging of the population and associated policies are also discussed. Illustrative examples from Belarus are presented.
Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad
The demographic characteristics of different regions in the former Soviet Union influence the nature of poverty in the newly successor independent states of the FSU. Despite a common policy inheritance, major adjustments are needed in the major social protection instruments to reflect differences in demographics along with a changing resource base.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper reviews developments during 2001–02 in the Belarusian pension system, and discusses potential short- and medium-term reforms needed to put pension system finances on a sustainable path. The paper presents a short overview of demographic trends and developments in Belarus and their impact on the pension system. It discusses the financial difficulties of early 2002 and the policy measures the authorities took to deal with them. A critical review of the methodology used in preparing annual Social Protection Fund budgets is also presented.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

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S. Ehtisham Ahmad and Mr. Jean-Luc Schneider

This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during January-June 1993 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201

S. Ehtisham Ahmad

This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during January-June 1993 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201

Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad, Sergio Lugaresi, Mr. Alex Mourmouras, and Mr. Jean-Luc Schneider

The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.