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.
This paper reviews developments in pension systems in 11 transition economies during the 1990s, highlighting the forces behind their rapid weakening. It focuses on the challenges these systems face-including those arising from demographic factors-and discusses why most transition countries are considering shifting, or have already shifted, from traditional defined-benefit pay-as-you-go systems to defined-contribution fully funded systems. Finally, the paper looks at the main options that arise in introducing fully funded components, including the relative mix between funding and pay-as-you-go, and the speed of the transition toward the new system.