Social Protection for Older People in Central Asia

At independence all the countries of the former Soviet Union inherited extensive social welfare, including a comprehensive pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pension system with low retirement ages (60 for men and 55 for women) and generous opportunities for early retirement for selected worker groups such as farmers. Most of these countries underwent severe economic dislocation affecting the welfare system (Falkingham, 2005): between 1990 and 1995, GDP per capita fell by more than half in all the countries of Central Asia and the South Caucasus, except for Uzbekistan.