An Optimistic Perspective on Population Ageing and Old-Age Financial Protection


  • Robert Holzmann University of Malaya & Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research


Happy ageing, FDC, life expectancy, measuring population ageing, NDC


Population ageing is typically associated with economic challenges for productivity and financial threats for the old-age financial protection system of a country. This paper takes an optimistic position and outlines key ingredients to make it a successful experience. Yet to turn this challenge into an opportunity requires a significant change in a society’s mindset and policies, such as recognising that population ageing and increased life expectancy are quite likely the biggest challenge to mankind in recorded history. This calls for a review and revision of societal institutions, from the likely oldest one–marriage–to one of the youngest–retirement income schemes. Mere tinkering at the margin of existing retirement income programmes will be neither sufficient nor helpful. To develop the arguments, the paper reviews and proposes changes to the measurement of population ageing– globally and for East Asian countries; outlines critical policy paths to address population ageing successfully; analyses the implications of population ageing for the selection of an old-age financial protection system; and offers guidance to this end.


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Author Biography

Robert Holzmann, University of Malaya & Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research

Chair of Old-Age Financial Protection, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya

Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, University of New South Wales