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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper focuses on the medium-term budgetary framework (MTBF) for Austria. Austria is part of a trend among many countries to consider some form of MTBF. This paper describes the proposed framework in Austria and assesses it in light of the experience of other countries. The general conclusion is that the track records are mixed, but that, on balance, the experiences with MTBFs have been favorable. The paper also examines the long-term fiscal challenges arising from demographic change.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper focuses on millennials who are increasingly looking to find their way in the sharing economy, a phenomenon made possible by the emergence of digital platforms that facilitate the matching of buyer and seller. Jobs in the sharing economy—like driving for Uber or Lyft—help some millennials make ends meet, even if such temporary gigs are a far cry from the fulltime jobs with traditional pension plans and other benefits their parents often enjoyed. This generation also enthusiastically embraces the services of the sharing economy, which provides access to everything from beds to cars to boats without the hassle of ownership. Loath to buy big-ticket items such as cars and houses, millennials have sharply different spending habits from those of preceding generations. Millennials confront obstacles to prosperity that their parents didn’t face. They are better educated than previous generations—but in today’s world, that is not enough to guarantee financial success.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The April 2012 Global Financial Stability Report assesses changes in risks to financial stability over the past six months, focusing on sovereign vulnerabilities, risks stemming from private sector deleveraging, and assessing the continued resilience of emerging markets. The report probes the implications of recent reforms in the financial system for market perception of safe assets, and investigates the growing public and private costs of increased longevity risk from aging populations.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper highlights about a relatively large young population is a key strength for Paraguay’s pension and health systems, a demographic shock will pose a key challenge. Fertility rates, measured as the number of children per woman, have already dropped substantially—from 6½ children per woman in the 1950s to 2.6 children per woman over 2010–2015. A rise in social security coverage will also impact the Instituto de Provisión Social (IPS), pension program over the longer term. Contributors have risen from 13 percent of the labor force in 2010 to around 21 percent in recent years. The authorities are also proposing new legislation to reform pension’s oversight and investments. While Paraguay’s financial system remains bank-based, the IPS and other pension funds are key institutional investors. The projections are based on a mix of data and assumptions from local and international sources. Demographic projections are those of the United Nations Population vision while data on labor force come from the International Labor Organization.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi
Canadian public pension plans are run on a "pay-as-you-go" basis. As the baby boom ages, contribution rates for the two main plans are projected to rise significantly, from their current level of around 5 percent of eligible earnings to over 13 percent by 2030. An alternative is to set contribution rates at their underlying long-term levels. Such a policy would imply a significant rise in current contribution rates, to 10-10½ percent of eligible earnings, but would allow the system to cope with the retirement of the baby boom generation without recourse to borrowing or significant increases in contribution rates.
Hua Chai and Jun Il Kim
This paper studies the effect of demographic change on national saving, global interest rates, and international capital flows, focusing on the role of the public pension system. We develop a small open economy overlapping generations model to illustrate the channels through which demographic variables and pension system generosity interact to affect both private and public saving behavior. We then extend this framework to a two-country setting and simulate scenarios of demographic change and pension reform. We find that the generosity of the pension system plays an important role in determining the movement of the global interest rate and patterns of international capital flows.
Mr. John Kiff, Michael Kisser, Mauricio Soto, and Mr. S. E Oppers
This paper provides the first empirical assessment of the impact of life expectancy assumptions on the liabilities of private U.S. defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Using detailed actuarial and financial information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, we construct a longevity variable for each pension plan and then measure the impact of varying life expectancy assumptions across plans and over time on pension plan liabilities. The results indicate that each additional year of life expectancy increases pension liabilities by about 3 to 4 percent. This effect is not only statistically highly significant but also economically: each year of additional life expectancy would increase private U.S. DB pension plan liabilities by as much as $84 billion.
Frank Eich, Mauricio Soto, and Ms. Charleen A Gust
Pension reform is a key policy challenge in Russia. This paper examines how pension spending could increase in Russia in the absence of reforms, quantifies the impact of some recent proposals, and suggests some alternatives that would ensure public pension benefits - relative to wages - not fall from current levels while containing spending.
Mr. Alfredo Cuevas, Ms. Izabela Karpowicz, Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados, and Mauricio Soto
In recent decades, population has been aging fast in Brazil while old age pensions and healthrelated spending have increased. As the population ages, the spending trend threaten to reach unsustainable levels absent reforms. Increasing the retirement age is key, but by itself will not provide sufficient savings to close the pension system financing gap, and reforms reducing replacement rates are necessary. In the area of health, there is scope for improving expenditure efficiency by strengthening outpatient care and regional networks, and developing clinical guidelines for cost-effective treatments and drugs. Reforms are urgent, so that they can be gradual.