Non-contributory pensions and poverty prevention A comparative study of Brazil and South Africa
The debate on how best to organise old age support in developing countries is growing. Old age poverty is widespread in developing countries, and informal old age support is coming under increasing pressure from adverse economic conditions, migration, HIV/AIDS, and changes in household composition. In the absence of policy interventions, older people and their households will continue to expand the ranks of the poor. Pensions play a key role in old age support systems, but research and debate on pension policy has so far focused on contributory pension programmes. Non- contributory pension programmes can be found in only a handful of developing countries although these are more likely to have an impact upon poverty and vulnerability and facilitate economic development. This research project analyses non-contributory pension programmes in Brazil and South Africa, the two developing countries with the largest programmes. The research aims to provide evidence of the impact of these programmes upon the wellbeing, participation and security of older people and their households; and to identify lessons for other developing countries, and low income countries in particular.