Recent years have witnessed intense pension reform efforts in countries around the globe, which have often involved an increased use of funded pension programmes managed by the private sector. There is a growing need among policy makers and the regulatory community, as well as among private sector participants, to compare programme developments and experiences to those of other countries. Because funded arrangements are likely to play an increasingly important role in delivering retirement income security in many countries, and because the investment of pension assets will increasingly affect securities markets in future years, the availability of an accurate, comprehensive, comparable and up-to-date body of international statistics is a necessary tool for policy-makers, regulators and market participants.
The Working Party on Private Pensions and its Task Force on Pension Statistics launched the Global Pension Statistics' project (GPS) in 2002. The GPS provides a valuable means for measuring and monitoring the pension industry, and permit inter-country comparisons of current statistics and indicators on key aspects of retirement systems across OECD and non-OECD countries. Data are collected on an ongoing basis so that trends can be readily identified and analysed. The statistics cover an extensive range of indicators and relate to a wide definition of private pension plans, themselves subdivided into detailed categories using coherent statistical concepts, definitions and methodologies.
Online statistics database
Free online frequently-requested pension indicators can be accessed directly via the OECD Web Browser OECD.Stat (Pension indicators database). Default queries pertaining to important indicators can also be found below:
Structure of Pension Systems
Private pension plans can be financed through pension funds, pension insurance contracts, book reserves or other vehicles (bank or investment companies managed funds). They could be linked to an employment relationship, making them occupational pension plans, or they may be based on contracts between individuals and private pension providers, making them personal pension plans.
Pension funds: Wealth and Investments
These indicators refer to the trend in pension fund assets and asset allocation. The default queries are proposed for pension funds, therefore excluding data pertaining to book reserve systems (as they exist in Austria and Germany for example), pension insurance contracts (available in most OECD countries) and funds managed as part of financial institutions. However, the default options can be modified to comply with users' needs.
Pension funds: Benefits and Contributions
These indicators refer to the trend in pension fund revenues and expenditures.
Pension funds: Operating expenses
Pension fund operating expenses comprise all costs arising from the general administration of the plan/fund that are treated as plan/fund expenses (i.e. administrative costs and investment management costs). The efficiency of private pension systems can be assessed by looking at the costs in relation to assets under management.
Private pensions systems in OECD countries
These Download the OECD Pension Country Profiles describe in a concise manner the design of private pension systems in individual OECD countries. Each profile is divided into 6 main sections: demographics and macroeconomics, country pension design, pension fund data, reference information and private pension system by type of plan and financing vehicle.
OECD Private Pensions Outlook
Pension Markets in Focus
List of administrative sources used under the OECD GPS Project
Private Pensions: OECD Classification and Glossary [ English / français ]
Global Pension Statistics Project: Data update, 2005
Global Pension Statistics Project: Measuring the Size of Private Pensions with an International Perspective, 2004
Permanent url: www.oecd.org/daf/pensions/gps