International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is increasingly involved in offering policy advice on public pension issues to member countries. Public pension spending is important from both fiscal and welfare perspectives. Pension policy and its reforms can have significant fiscal and distribution implications, can influence labor supply and labor demand decisions, and may impact consumption and savings behavior. This technical note provides guidance on assessing public pension systems’ macrocriticality, i.e., sustainability, adequacy, and efficiency; it also discusses the issues and policy trade-offs to be considered when designing responses aiming to address these dimensions of the pension system. The paper emphasizes the importance of taking a long-term, comprehensive perspective when evaluating public pension spending and providing policy advice. Where feasible, reforms should be gradual and transparent to allow individuals ample time to adjust their work and savings decisions and to facilitate consumption smoothing over their lifecycle to avoid poverty in old age. It is also important to ensure that pension systems’ design and reforms do not lead to undesirable impacts in other policy areas including general tax compliance, health insurance coverage, labor force participation among older workers, or labor market informality. The paper emphasizes the importance country-specific social and economic objectives and constraints, as well as political economy realities – factors that can determine whether a pension reform is a success or failure.
This note provides statistical guidance to IMF staff and country authorities on the recording of the 2021 general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in the government finance statistics (GFS), which is also applicable to previous SDR allocations. SDR allocations received by members are recorded as a liability in the form of SDR allocations vis-à-vis the SDR Department of the IMF, which is part of gross debt of the public sector unit (Ministry of Finance/Treasury or central bank or other publicly controlled entity) on whose balance sheet SDRs are recorded, with a corresponding entry for SDR holdings as a financial asset. No transfer of wealth occurs due to the SDR allocation. It should be stressed that the statistical guidelines do not specify on whose balance sheet SDR holdings and allocations should be recorded, as this decision is determined by the member’s domestic legal and institutional arrangements.
Ms. Dora Benedek, Martin Grote, Grace Jackson, Maksym Markevych, Mr. Christophe J Waerzeggers, and Ms. Lydia E Sofrona
This note explores the conditions, design elements, and implementation considerations of a successful voluntary disclosure program (VDP), including its compliance with anti–money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) international standards. The note emphasizes that such a program must be offered in the context of a considerably strengthened and credible enforcement capacity—one that is explicitly publicized to taxpayers—to avoid undermining tax morale.