The ageing of the world’s population has many governments looking at their pension systems and trying to make reforms that will ensure financial sustainability for both current and future retirees.

The OECD just released a report that provides a summary of the reforms being undertaken in its member countries, all of which have many diverse and complex features. Changes in pension systems include increases in pension ages, changes in the way that benefits are calculated and smaller real pension increases than in the past. As the report notes, ‘despite the different approaches, there is a clear underlying trend towards a reduced pension promise for today’s workers, when compared with past generations’.

The report also notes that some reforms could result in a greater risk in old-age poverty for low-income workers, a trend that had been reversed in late in the 20th century.

The OECD report builds on the CSIS paper on the same topic published in January 2007.