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.
The paper surveys the major economic, financial, and administrative issues that confront social security systems in Latin America. The larger systems have contributed substantially to public sector financial disequilibria. Expenditures of the younger systems with more limited coverage could increase dramatically as the pension plan matures, life expectancy increases, and coverage is broadened, but the narrow revenue base will force a tradeoff between broader coverage and the generosity of benefits. Most plans are pay-as-you-go, and the case for full or partial funding is not found to be compelling. The inflationary environment can have a substantial effect on the financial balance, even under full indexation.