Thursday, June 21, 2007

UN calls for universal pensions

Universal pensions of just $1 a day in developing countries would significantly reduce old age poverty, a United Nations report said Tuesday.  The World Economic and Social Survey 2007 called that ``an affordable option'' for heading off the problems of aging as the growth in the numbers of elderly accelerate in poor nations, catching up with a trend already evident in wealthy countries.  Jose Antonio Ocampo, U.N. undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, said even a basic benefit equivalent to the extreme poverty level of $1 a day would achieve the long-term U.N. goal of eliminating the worst privation ``for all the older people now.''  At a news conference, Ocampo said aging populations is ``a phenomenon that is universal now,'' - with the number of people 60 and older expected to increase from about 670 million in 2005 to close to 2 billion in 2050.  ``Although the phenomenon is more advanced in the industrial economies, it's going to grow at a much faster rate in the developing world,'' he said.


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