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OECD countries are intensifying their fiscal consolidation efforts, introducing additional measures and extending the time horizon to implement them. Most have announced fiscal consolidation of more than 3% of GDP over the period 2009-15, according to the OECD’s Restoring Public Finances 2012.
G20 Finance Ministers have welcomed a new OECD/G20 framework designed to help governments develop financial strategies for disaster risk management.
In most OECD countries tax revenues are continuing to rise in relation to GDP from the 2008-09 declines seen at the beginning of the crisis, according to OECD’s annual Revenue Statistics. OECD countries collected about 34.0% of GDP in taxes in 2011, compared with 33.8% in 2010.
G20 finance ministers have agreed new principles on financial consumer protection developed by the OECD. “Without consumer trust and confidence we could jeopardise the basis for global economic recovery and growth,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
The Working Paper “The Role of Guarantees in Defined Contribution Pensions” argues that, while there is a clear need to better protect retirement income from financial market volatility, the costs and benefits of investment return guarantees should be carefully evaluated.
Pension fund asset levels in most countries continued to show strong growth throughout 2010, returning almost to pre-crisis levels, according to a new OECD report. Both economic and financial indicators showed signs of further recovery but the outlook for future economic growth in developed economies remains uncertain and sluggish.
The OECD and South Africa will open a centre to help African governments manage their debt and bond markets in Midrand, South Africa.
Some countries are reconsidering their approach to the provision of sustainable and adequate pensions. OECD experts have reiterated several key recommendations that should be taken into account during this process.
Working Paper: "Assessing Default Investment Strategies in Defined Contribution Pension Plans". Future retirees can expect dramatic fluctuations in fortunes between members of a cohort unless they adopt investment strategies that reduce the impact of market shocks. Similar strategies should also become the default for individuals who make no active investment choice.
The Spanish government announced on Friday, 29 January, its intention of postponing the retirement age from 65 to 67 and to increase the number of contribution years used to calculate pension benefits. The OECD believes that these measures are important steps in the right direction and would bring Spain closer in line with other OECD countries who have already reformed their pension systems.