Briefing Paper: Call for a Universal Social Pension for all people over 60 (SCOW)

SCOW calls for a universal social pension for all people over 60 years of age, a policy that will positively impact the well-being of older women worldwide.

Social (non-contributory) pensions make up a minimum social security package that supports older women’s right to social security.  Social pensions are an effective way to reduce old women’s poverty, particularly since the numbers of old women are proportionately higher than men.  Two-thirds of older people receive no regular income and 100 million live on less than $1 per day.  Regular social pensions also increase poor older people’s access to services, particularly health care.

As most older women live and share resources with younger family members, social pensions have a substantial impact on child wellbeing, such as better nutrition and school attendance.  Older caregivers help HIV positive people access treatment and improve the life chances of extremely vulnerable AIDS orphans.

SCOW urges adoption of universal pensions. They cost less than means-tested programs and are simpler, less prone to corruption and discrimination in the distribution.

NGO Committee on Ageing • PO Box 1854 • New York, NY • 10163-1854