Performance and Challenges of the Income Protection System for Older People in Ecuador

The purpose of this work is to analyze the performance of the Ecuadorian pension system, its challenges, and available policy options. Therefore, the study analyzes coverage, financing sufficiency, and sustainability indicators that were created based on information from the Encuesta Nacional de Empleo, Desempleo y Subempleo (National Employment, Unemployment and Underemployment Survey) that was carried out over 2003-16. Likewise, actuarial simulations are made by using the World Bank pension reform options simulation toolkit. The findings show that, although in the latest 13 years there has been coverage extension, resulting from an increase in reported employment and an extension of noncontributory pensions, current coverage is still insufficient. In addition to the challenge posed to coverage extension, in the medium term, population aging would exert some pressure on financial sustainability that, within the current framework, would imply a deficit trend starting in the mid-2030s. However, some public policy areas, parametric as well as structural, have been identified that, together with an extension of noncontributory coverage, may provide a more supportive and sustainable scheme.