Pension Systems in Latin America: Concepts and Measurements of Coverage

This paper focuses on the coverage dimension, looking at empirical data in Latin America. Coverage of pension systems has slowly become a central issue in the policy debate in the region. After more than a decade of reforms and debates, the central problem of the pension systems in Latin America (how to protect most workers and their families from the economic risks caused by aging and retirement from the labor force) remains unsolved in countries where structural reforms were implemented, as well as in countries where reforms were limited to parametric adjustments and countries where no significant reforms were adopted. Proposals and debates over the last decade have been shaped by ideological positions and objectives that were not always related to the central goals of the programs, and should not be the driving force to shape the social security systems.