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14 October 2014

Nearly half the world’s elderly get no pension (ILO report)

Close to half (48 per cent) of people over pensionable age in the world do not receive a pension, according to an ILO report released in late September. And those who do get one do not get enough to adequately cover their health and old age-related problems.

Social security protection in 178 countries was scrutinized by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The world average of public expenditure on pensions stands at 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product, ranging from 0-2 per cent in low-income countries to 11 per cent in higher-income ones.

After a lifetime of hard work, these people "have no right to retire and have to continue working as long as they can, often badly paid and in precarious conditions", said Isabel Ortiz, Director, ILO social protection department

Cuts to pension benefits, along with persistent unemployment, lower wages and higher taxes "have contributed to increases in poverty or social exclusion, now affecting 123 million people in the European Union, or 24 percent of the population," says the report.

“Social protection is both a human right and sound economic policy…. Social protection also contributes to economic growth by supporting household income and thus domestic consumption; this is particularly important during this time of slow recovery and depressed global demand”, commented Ms Ortiz.

Read more:

ILO: “Social Protection for older persons: Key policy trends and statistics”, 30 September 2014

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