Asian Pension Policies: A Comparative Perspective

Edited by Douglas J. Besharov and Mann Hyung Hur


Asia as a whole is a rapidly growing region. Yet, individual Asian countries are more likely to share heterogeneity and not homogeneity. Unlike European states, individual Asian countries are very different in their levels of social and economic development, population size, and race. Nevertheless, they do share the common policy issue of pension policies, as the entire region transitions to an aging society.

This volume analyzes the individual pension systems of industrialized, newly industrialized, and industrializing Asian countries, those of aged and aging countries, and also those of OECD members and nonmembers. The text utilizes a comparative perspective. The chapters present a broad variety of pension issues, ranging from defined benefits to defined contributions as well as pay-as-you-go to fully funded, public pensions to individual savings accounts, and Singapore’s Central Provident Fund to multi-pillar pension systems to cope with demographic aging. In terms of research method, both quantitative and qualitative analyses, and descriptive and inferential analyses are offered. The volume also includes an impact analysis of specific pension policies. A “potential” Asian pension model can be sketched out by thoughtful readers by exploring the chapters. For this purpose, several typology studies on pension systems are also included in the book.

The volume has three sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the topic:

  • Comparative Asian Pension Policy
  • Country Studies
  • Impacts of Specific Pension Policies

The volume draws from papers presented at a conference on Asian Social Protection in Comparative Perspective, held in Singapore on January 7-9, 2009, but it is not limited to these papers. On a limited basis, papers on the issues cited above will be considered for this publication. The editors welcome your submissions.


Douglas J. Besharov, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Mann Hyung Hur, Professor, Department of Public Administration, Chung-Ang University