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OECD unveils glossary of pensions terms

GLOBAL – The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has created a 102-page glossary and classification for private pensions.

“Until today, even the most basic definitions of private and public pensions differed widely around the world and this marks the first international initiative to produce clear, consistent definitions of the technical terms commonly used in the pensions industry in most OECD countries,” says Jean-Marc Salou, administrator in the OECD’s Financial Markets Division.

He said the development represents a “critical step” in the organisation’s collection of statistical data. He said: “The overriding objective of a classification of private pensions is to allow a comparative analysis of private pension systems around the world.”

The forward to the glossary states that one of the main obstacles to the work of any international forum is language. “Making sure that the basic terminology used is shared by all the members of a forum is a prerequisite to dialogue”.

It said the compiling the glossary was complicated by the proliferation of definitions for even the most basic distinctions in pensions, such as those between public and private pensions and between defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

It added: “The overriding objective of a classification of private pensions is to allow a comparative analysis of private pension systems around the world. In order to develop a common vocabulary, a glossary for pension-related terms complements the Classification.”

The glossary includes an expanded list of terms, proposed definitions and related vocabularies and aims to explain the technical terms commonly used in the pensions industry in most OECD countries.

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