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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 85; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010085

Who Benefits—Or Does not—From South Africa’s Old Age Pension? Evidence from Characteristics of Rural Pensioners and Non-Pensioners

1
Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box C, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
2
Department of Health Sciences, University of Missouri, 535 Clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3
Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309-0483, USA
4
MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
5
INDEPTH Network, P.O. Box KD213 Kanda, Accra, Ghana
6
Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, Umeå University, Umeå 90001-90850, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ching-To Albert Ma
Received: 10 September 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 22 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [573 KB, uploaded 29 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Social protection grants play a critical role in survival and livelihoods of elderly individuals in South Africa. Rarely is it possible to assess how well a social program reaches its target population. Using a 2010 survey and Agincourt Health Demographic Surveillance System census data we conduct multivariate logistic regression to predict pension receipt in rural South Africa. We find only 80% of age-eligible individuals report pension receipt. Pension non-recipients tend to be male, have poor socio-economic status, live in smaller households, be of Mozambican origin, and have poorer physical function; while older persons living in households receiving other grants are more likely to report pension receipt. We conclude that a reservoir of older persons exists who meet eligibility criteria but who are not yet receiving pensions. Ensuring that they and their households are properly linked to all available social services—whether for child or old-age social grants—is likely to have beneficial and synergistic effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Africa; South Africa; pension; socio-economic status; self-reported disability; ageing Africa; South Africa; pension; socio-economic status; self-reported disability; ageing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ralston, M.; Schatz, E.; Menken, J.; Gómez-Olivé, F.X.; Tollman, S. Who Benefits—Or Does not—From South Africa’s Old Age Pension? Evidence from Characteristics of Rural Pensioners and Non-Pensioners. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 85.

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