Why Do Social Security Systems and Social Security Reforms Have a Gender Impact?

Estelle James, Alejandra Cox Edwards and Rebeca Wong

in The Gender Impact of Social Security Reform

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780226392004
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226392028 | DOI:
Why Do Social Security Systems and Social Security Reforms Have a Gender Impact?

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Most public pension programs—both the traditional defined benefit and the newer multipillar plans—are contributory; that is, they are financed by payroll taxes, and they pay out benefits the amount of which depends on wage history, years of work, or, more directly, on contributions. Contributory schemes pose a problem for women, who are likely to have worked and contributed for fewer years; have earned lower wages when working; and outlive their husbands, who provide the family's monetary income. As a result of these socioeconomic and demographic differences, the same pension policy may have different effects on men and women, and pension reform can have important gender effects. Moreover, social security systems often include rules that explicitly differentiate between men and women. This chapter reviews these labor market and demographic differences and the issues they raise for pension policy.

Keywords: public pension programs; social security systems; contributoary schemes; women; pension policy; pension reform; gender

Chapter.  4306 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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