The World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Dutch financial services group ING have joined forces in a new research partnership to study how privatized pension systems have performed in a number of developing and transition economies during the past two decades.

The new ambitious project was launched at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, where the three groups agreed to evaluate the performance and efficiency of funded pension arrangements in economically developing nations, and seek explanations for their different experiences.

During the past two decades, many countries have fully or partially privatized the management of their systems that provide income and financial support in retirement. Many others are actively considering proposals to move in this direction.

The first project within the scope of the research agreement will focus on the ‘financial performance of private pension funds’. Despite the growing role of the private sector in retirement provision, there have been few comparisons of the performance of these private systems.

By gathering and comparing detailed data from a number of emerging economies and some mature countries, the three partners will make an analysis of the performance of privately managed pension funds.

The collection of data on performance indicators and their analysis are key to the assessment of the adequacy of private pensions systems and the development of related policy tools by governments around the world. By liaising with the World Bank, ING and, hopefully, other private partners, this project is expected to deliver high quality research, said Andre Laboul, head of the OECD Financial Affairs Division.