West Bank and Gaza Public Expenditure Review - The Palestinian Pension System: A Roadmap for an Unfinished Reform

This work builds on the Public Expenditure Review (PER) analysis of the pension system conducted in 2016 but also brings important innovations. It updates the financial analysis conducted then and offers new policy recommendations, with the key objective of improving the affordability of the pension system, subject to benefit adequacy. The principal difference of this work is in the adopted approach, which looks at the pension system holistically and offers advice from the angle of rationalizing the overall public expenditure policy in pensions, rather than working with each pension scheme individually. In doing so, it takes a forward-looking approach and minimizes the dependency path of the convoluted legacy system. The work also incorporates a component that looks at the Palestinian Pension Agency’s (PPA) administrative systems using a new Bank tool – Social Insurance Administrative Diagnostic (SIAD). The findings reveal a system with unfinished reforms and call for a comprehensive restructuring of the pension financing arrangements, along with a change of the construct of the system. This work is largely diagnostic in nature, offering high level policy recommendations and suggesting a comprehensive follow up analysis. While presenting a status quo analysis and illustrating effects of several parametric adjustments, the main set of recommendations is centered around the structural adjustments and financial restructuring in the public sector pension scheme, which would require a round of follow up work, elaborating and modeling various reform cases, including careful fine-tuning of the transitional provisions.