Global Resources

The gender dimensions of pension systems: policies and constraints for the protection of older women

Author: C. Arza
Publisher: UN Women
Publication Date: Jan 2015

This paper examines the challenges and constraints that pension systems face to be gender equitable and the policy alternatives to address these challenges. It also focuses on pension system rules and how they interact with other social and labour market conditions over women's life courses to reproduce or mitigate gender inequalities in old age. 

The findings reveal that crucial policy choices for the protection of women concern the conditions for entitlements in pension systems (based on either work, need or citizenship), the types of transfers that are promoted between women and men, the policy tools available to offset gender differences in paid work, earnings and unpaid work (such as contribution credits) and the protection of the most vulnerable social groups through redistributive benefits.