Profile of Old Age Pensioners and Non-Pensioners: Evidence from Rural South Africa

Enid Schatz, University of Missouri, Columbia
Margaret L. Ralston, University of Missouri, Columbia
Jane Menken, University of Colorado at Boulder
Xavier Gómez-Olivé, University of the Witwatersrand
Stephen Tollman, University of the Witwatersrand

Unique to only a few countries, South Africa offers its aging population a state-funded non-contributory pension beginning at age 60. Research shows that pensions play an important role in poor and HIV-affected South African households. The pension is worth twice the average household income for Black South Africans. Although extant research shows the importance of pensions for households, little is known about pension recipients and non-recipients in this context. Using a 2010 WHO-INDEPTH Study of Global Aging and Adult Health survey from Agincourt, in rural northeast South Africa, and Agincourt census data, we will compare pensioners (about 80% of those age-eligible in the site) with non-pensioners, to assess possible barriers to pension receipt. We examine household composition, individual health profiles, and indicators of human and social capital. Preliminary results show that pension non-recipients are disproportionately in the lowest socio-economic status category suggesting the need for a policy intervention.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity