Income Maintenance in Old Age: Current Status and Future Prospects for Rich Countries

Timothy M. Smeeding

WP#2002-11

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to review the recent evidence on the antipoverty effectiveness and other characteristics of income maintenance for the elderly in the rich nations of the world. As they move toward Social Security reform due to worldwide population aging, strategies to reduce the future Social Security deficit in most nations examined here need to take into account the way that impending program changes affect poverty and benefit adequacy, as well as fiscal soundness. Different nations offer various approaches which would help the high elderly poverty nations to achieve lower poverty rates while also providing fiscally responsible solutions to the future public costs of an aging society.