Front Matter

Front Matter

Jerald Schiff, Axel Schimmelpfennig, Niko Hobdari, and Roman Zytek
Published Date:
January 2001
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    © 2000 International Monetary Fund

    Production: IMF Graphics Section

    Figures: Sanaa Elaroussi

    Typesetting: Alicia Etchebarne-Bourdin

    Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Pension reform in the Baltics: issues and prospects/by Jerald Schiff …

    [et al.].

    p. cm.—(Occasional paper: 200)

    Includes bibliographical references.

    ISBN 1-55775-968-5

    1. Pensions—Baltic States. 2. Baltic States—Social policy. I. Schiff, Jerald Alan. II. Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund); 200.

    HD7197.75 .P46 2000

    331.25’2’09479—dc21 00-066082

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    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;

    • – between years or months (e.g., 1998–99 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months:

    • / between years (e.g., 1998/99) to indicate a fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    The term “country,” as used in this paper, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice: the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states, but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.


    This occasional paper provides an overview of efforts in the Baltic countries to reform their pension systems, and examines the choices facing these countries in their continued reform efforts. Early reforms were aimed at correcting the flaws of the inherited Soviet system and, in particular, at shoring up the finances of the pension systems and reducing their distortionary impact. While these policies were largely successful, they have also been partially undone in subsequent years. More recently, all three countries—and many others throughout the world—have turned their attention to addressing adverse demographic trends, by moving toward a three-pillar pension system incorporating a fully funded scheme. The paper emphasizes that while such pension reforms can have significant benefits, they also impose costs and, in any case, do not allow countries to “escape” demographics.

    The paper is the product of a team effort of the Baltic Division of the European II Department. In particular, Peter Keller suggested the research topic and played an important role, along with Mr. Schiff, in guiding the project. A number of people, including Günther Taube, Basil Zavoico, Johannes Mueller. Vitali Kramarenko, and Joannes Mongardini provided the necessary data for their countries, and offered helpful suggestions. Insightful comments were provided as well by John Odling-Smee. Gérard Bélanger, Oleh Havrylyshyn, Richard Hemming, and Sanjeev Gupta, Alexandra Merlino provided excellent research assistance, and Jean Boyd and Lilian Immers provided careful and patient secretarial help. Jeremy Clift of the External Relations Department edited the paper and coordinated its production for publication.

    The views expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IMF. Executive Directors, or the authorities of the countries covered in this study.

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