The Feasibility of a Universal Social Pension in the Philippines

The Philippines has had a social pension programme in place since 2011, however, the existing scheme faces a number of limitations including it's narrowly targeted nature, and low benefit level. This report explores the feasibility of introducing a universal social pension that would provide a guarantee of a minimum income in old age to all Filipinos. The study explores the context of poverty, inequality and old age income insecurity, and explains the rationale for a universal social pension in the country. It then goes on to assess the cost of a universal pension, and options for financing its expansion. The study finds that a universal social pension would make a major contribution to reducing poverty and enabling dignity and wellbeing in old age. In the short term, the current social pension could be expanded to cover all older people with no other pensions, while seeking increased levels of coverage and adequacy in the medium term.