In most countries, state pensions are financed from pay-roll taxes. However, such pensions have a strong male bias, with more men than women accessing them while also receiving higher benefits. Achieving universal pension coverage in developing countries is not possible, with pensions financed by pay-roll taxes due to high levels of informal sector employment. Furthermore, such schemes would be biased against women. Universal pensions funded from general taxation are the only means by which developing countries can achieve universal pension coverage on a basis that is equitable for both men and women. Such schemes can be found in a number of developed and developing countries and have been very successful in reducing poverty in old age for both women and men.
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