Chapter 15: Pension reforms in transition economies - remarks and open questions: A comment on Rutkowski
15. Pension reforms in transition economies – remarks and open questions: A comment on Rutkowski Winfried Schmähl A NEED FOR A COHERENT REFORM CONCEPT ‘Ten years after’, pension policies in some of the former socialist economies are undergoing a remarkable reform process. Following a period of crisis management, during which pension schemes were often transformed, more fundamental tasks of redesigning pension policies were taken up in the political arena, and in some of the countries they have been completed. This sequence is quite similar to the experience of Germany where major structural reforms did not take place until about one decade following the collapse of its economy and the political order in 1945. However, in the former East Germany (GDR) the development of the pension reform was quite different. In principle, the West German pension schemes were implemented in the still existing GDR1 in the process of German unification after 1989, together with the introduction of the German mark as a common currency on 1 July 1990. In this case, the basic long-term objectives of the pension schemes were clear from the early beginning and they were essential for designing different interim steps for transforming the pension arrangements. Transformation and transition is a process. The sequence of policy decisions concerning different reform steps and instruments should therefore be based on coherent guidelines and objectives. This is an important precondition for the development and implementation of a consistent policy, and it is particularly important in the case of pension policy because...
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