Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI) and Planning and Development Department organized a seminar called “Challenges of Old Age in Pakistan” in Lahore. Dr. Asghar Zaidi, Professor at International Social Policy, said at the seminar that Pakistan has the lowest pension income coverage in the region i.e. 2.3%.
Zaidi highlighted the key findings of Global Watch Age Index that has been designed to determine the well-being of older people around the world. Pakistan is ranked 92 out of the 96 countries in the overall rankings of the Global Age Watch Index. Pakistan was ranked as one of the lowest because of the low life expectancy and unhealthy lifestyle that people lead in the country.
According to the data shared by World Bank, Pakistan’s life expectancy is 66.4 years only with male life expectancy being 65.5 years while women life expectancy stands at 67.5 years. In 2015, 6.6% of the total population was aged above 60 which is expected to increase up to 12.9% by 2050. Currently, there are 12.5 million people aged above 60 but these numbers are expected to go up to 43 million by 2050.
Pakistan does not have any National Policy of Ageing, right now. While other countries in the world are introducing new policies and procedures on income security and health facilities, Pakistani government has failed to come up with necessary solutions to improve the living conditions of its aging population.
During the seminar, it was emphasized that the significant policies are needed to be developed for the aging population in order to improve their overall living conditions. Health facilities and pension are the key requirements for the older people so that they are able to live their remaining life independently.
It is the government’s responsibility to provide proper old-age benefits and social security to the aging population. And the sooner the government takes the initiative the better it will be for the society.