Training Course on Income Security for Older Persons in the Pacific

ESCAP MEDIA RELEASE: 17 November 2017

“Leaving no one behind” includes the Pacific’s elderly: Pacific Island countries explore ways to improve income security for older persons in the Pacific

The Pacific’s young people today will be the group of older persons in 2050. While the ageing process in Pacific island countries has been slower than in other parts of the world, including Asia, rapid fertility declines meant that the percentage of older persons in the Pacific is still expected to double by 2050.

For example in Fiji, the percentage of the population older than 60 is already at 9.6 per cent in 2015 and expected to rise to 19.9 per cent in 2050. In Vanuatu, the percentage of older people is expected to rise from 6.6 per cent in 2016 to 14.2 per cent in 2050.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for ending poverty for all in all its manifestations (Goal 1) and to establish nationally appropriate social protection systems (target 1.3). Goal 10 further calls for reducing inequalities in income as well as inequality based on age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status within a country. The 2012 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Gender Equality Declaration also calls for gender parity in national retirement schemes.

Recognising that older persons are among those who are most likely to be “left behind”, officials from Pacific island governments and national provident funds undertook training in Nadi, Fiji from 13-17 November 2017 to build capacity in developing appropriate policy responses to enhancing income security for older persons. The training was jointly provided by UN-ESCAP and the ILO’s International Training Centre.

The course trained pension experts in design, implementation, reform, and management of effective and efficient schemes of income security for older persons. It provided advanced knowledge and capacities for the analysis and redesign of current systems, based on a wide breadth of comprehensive examples, with the aim of developing an international perspective on pension issues through comparative analysis and sharing experiences of other schemes. Participants learned about the various schemes currently used in Pacific island countries, and explored issues of financial sustainability and greater inclusion of society in these schemes. Participants also identified key issues for national policy considerations, including the impacts of climate change on ageing as well as recognizing the valuable role that traditional social protection practices can play in state-led reforms.

The training course was attended by government officials and staff of Provident Funds of Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu, as well as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

ENDS.

Link below will direct you to the Social Development Division (SDD) Pensions training: http://www.unescap.org/events/training-course-income-security-older-pers...