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DISCUSSION PAPER PI-1204

Measuring the multidimensional adequacy of pension systems in European countries

Filip Chybalski

The paper presents a multidimensional approach to the adequacy of the pension system, recognising it as the most relevant in comparative analyses of pension systems, as well as more authoritative than a one-dimensional approach based exclusively on pensioners’ income calculated on the basis of the replacement rate. Adequacy of the pension system can be also understood to mean the effectiveness of pension system when assessing its ability to realize income objectives. Starting from the micro- and macro functions of the pension system, OMC and World Bank objectives in terms of pension adequacy, and taking into account the indicators used by the European Commission to monitor the attainment of OMC objectives, the paper presents the overall concept of multidimensional adequacy of a pension system. Three dimensions of adequacy are defined: income, poverty, and differentiation of pensioners’ material situation by gender. Next, sub-indicators measuring the individual dimensions of adequacy are proposed, along with an aggregation procedure based on the tools of multidimensional statistical analysis. First the sub-indicators are aggregated into synthetic indicators for individual dimensions, and finally the synthetic indicators for individual dimensions are aggregated into a single synthetic indicator of the adequacy of the pension system (APS). Based on the proposed procedure, the adequacy of the pensions systems of 26 European countries is measured, and the quality of this measurement is assessed.

Key words: pensions, adequacy of pensions, effectiveness of pension system, pensioners’ income, multidimensional statistical analysis, synthetic indicator