Drafted by IPS Researchers Shanika Samarakoon and Nisha Arunatilake with research assistance from Neluka Gunasekara.

Sri Lanka’s population is ageing at a rapid pace. The 60 and above population is estimated to increase from its 2001 level of 9.5 per cent to 19.7 per cent by 2030. This backdrop helps to explain the importance of ensuring income security for older persons in Sri Lanka. As a consequence of declining fertility rates, increasing life expectancy and the difference in the life expectancies of males and females, the structure of the population will change. The proportion of older persons in the population will increase and the proportion of older females to older males will also increase. This paper examines whether the existing pension schemes in the Sri Lanka are able to provide adequate income support for all older persons in the country.

The paper also describes the demographic transitions taking place in the country, discusses existing pension funds in Sri Lanka and their characteristics, assesses the coverage and adequacy of the different pension schemes, and examines how these are different for males and females. It also estimates the fiscal cost of extending pension coverage to the population and examines the fiscal cost of implementing a universal pension at different retirement ages, and highlights the estimated cost of extending the PSPS to the population of older persons.

The study was funded by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).  It is a part of a project conducted by UNESCAP on “Income security for older persons in Asia and the Pacific”, which is aimed at strengthening regional cooperation to address ageing populations.

Download the Paper

SDD-SPPS Project Working Papers Series: Income Security for Older Persons in Asia and the Pacific - Income Security for Older Persons in Sri Lanka (UNESCAP Website)

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Report of the National Consultation on Income Security for Older Persons in Sri Lanka