GIS – 22 October 2014: Mauritius ranks 38 overall on the Global AgeWatch Index 2014, coming top in the African region. HelpAge International launched, earlier this month, the Global AgeWatch Index 2014 rating 96 countries according to the social and economic wellbeing of older people.
The Index measures wellbeing in four key areas: income security, health, personal capability and an enabling environment. On that score, Mauritius performs best in the income security domain, with 100% pension income coverage, the lowest old age poverty rate in the region; and the highest GDP per capita, reflecting its long-term investment in social security for older citizens.
Focus is on pension policy and how this is being managed across the globe. The report outlines that only half the world’s population can expect to receive even a basic pension in old age and although policies supporting people in later life exist they need to be implemented faster and more systematically.
As reported, Mauritius ranks moderately in the following areas: enabling environment domain, with above regional averages on all indicators; health domain, with higher than regional averages and near Index averages for the life expectancy indicators.
The Index points out that economic growth alone will not improve older people’s wellbeing adding that specific policies need to be put in place to address the implications of ageing. In low- and middle-income countries, only one in four people over 65 receive a pension. Providing basic social protection to older people is about recognising the right to a dignified old age as well as the need for financial independence.
In its findings Global AgeWatch Index says that policies supporting people in later life such as pensions, educational and employment opportunities, free healthcare and subsidised transport exist but need to be implemented faster and more systematically.
This year’s report focuses on income security, which older people consistently identify as their top priority. Poverty is still a critical risk in older age, in countries that span the wealth spectrum. It throws light on how the world is ageing, showing that while some countries have made substantial progress towards guaranteeing basic income security in old age, half of the world’s population can still expect to spend their old age without a pension.
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