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Pension Coverage Lessons for the United States from Other Countries

While the United States has instituted numerous pension policy innovations over the past 20 years, including notably 401(k) plans, pension coverage has remained stagnant at roughly 50 percent of workers. Frustration over the failure of pension policy to increase coverage has raised the issue of what we can learn from other countries, some of which have considerably higher pension coverage rates than the United States.

In this AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper, Martin Rein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Turner of PPI address this question by surveying countries with pension systems similar to that in the United States. They examine both the major approaches chosen and particular policy innovations. (14 pages)