Dragos Adascalitei, Stefan Domonkos
Reforming against all odds: Multi-pillar pension systems in the Czech Republic and Romania

International Social Security Review, 2015: 68, issue 2, pp. 85-104
ISSN: 0020-871X (print); 1468-246X (online)

Attempts to replace pay-as-you-go pension schemes with private funded systems came to a halt in Central and Eastern Europe after 2005. However, more recently, the region has witnessed two belated reformers: the Czech Republic and Romania. Both countries decided to partially privatize pensions despite the rising tide of evidence concerning the challenges associated with the policy. We argue that while part of the domestic political elite remained supportive of private funded pensions, the difficulties experienced by earlier reformers and reduced support from International Financial Institutions led to the adoption of small funded pension pillars. Such cautious attempts at privatization might become more common in the future as large reforms have proven politically unsustainable.