A wave of pension reforms has been implemented in industrialised countries since the early 1990s. Less publicised, but more far reaching are those reforms implemented in emerging economies. In the emerging economies of Asia and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), demography is a powerful driver of reform as the outlook is not much rosier for many emerging economies than for the industrialised countries in terms of the aging population.
However, demography is not the sole reason for pension reform. At least as important are the facts that previous systems in CEE lacked sustainability and the aspiration of Asian countries to establish formal pension systems. Obviously, economic, political and cultural differences between the emerging economies are huge. Nevertheless, many emerging economies have followed a similar path of reforms, one that greatly differs from that taken in the industrialised world.