Pension Reforms in Viet Nam: Voices of Local Citizenry

Dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington (2022)
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Abstract

Many developing countries have reformed their national pension systems in response to ageing populations and to increase pension scheme participation. The World Bank has been active in pension reforms in developing countries since the 1990s, and Vietnamese pension reforms since 2004 have reflected many proposals of the World Bank – a leading international donor to Viet Nam since 1993. There have been many criticisms of the World Bank’s pension privatisation proposals for developing countries – for example, the World Bank did not take into account country-specific environmental factors such as financial market conditions and regulatory capacity, and it focused on economic growth rather than old-age poverty reduction. This research studies whether the Vietnamese pension reforms, with the World Bank as an active agent, have taken into account the concerns and expectations of an important stakeholder group: the Vietnamese people. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and a survey of Vietnamese people. The findings from interviews and the survey were analysed with reference to the World Bank’s proposals for Viet Nam and changes in Vietnamese legislation. The aim of the research is to explore the extent to which the World Bank, with its global power, and the Vietnamese government, with its dependence on global finance and technical knowledge, have responded to concerns and expectations of Vietnamese people.

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