This report examines pension crediting for caregivers in seven countries. These credits are most often awarded to mothers of young children, but also to fathers, adult children, grandparents, or unrelated caregivers. They improve pension adequacy by compensating for periods of unpaid work during which the care provider makes limited or no pension contributions. The credits may help to establish pension eligibility, advance the date of retirement, improve the pension amount, or affect a combination of these. The countries examined here are Canada, Japan, and five members of the European Union (EU): Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. While the credits are known by a variety of terms, this paper uses for the most part a single phrase: Pension Crediting for Caregivers, or PCC.
The analysis has three parts. Chapter 1 serves as background, describing the national contexts in which PCC occurs, the social objectives it is used to achieve, and the general parameters of PCC scheme designs. Chapter 2 describes variation in PCC features across the seven countries. Drawing on these comparisons, it considers the feasibility of achieving different policy purposes through the use of crediting, with particular reference to the United States, were it to establish PCC. Chapter 3 provides country-by-country descriptions of PCC systems, as well as some relevant features of the national pension systems and the labor markets in which they operate.