TEHRAN, Iran — Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, head of the Management and Planning Organization (MPO), warned March 6 that Iran has five years to address the underfunding of its pension system or face a major crisis. It is not the first time this alarm has been sounded.
Concerns about the looming pension crisis first surfaced in the early 2000s. At the request of the MPO, the World Bank prepared an in-depth report in 2003 that recommended “necessary steps” for implementing a reformed pension program. The matter remained unaddressed for more than a decade, however, largely due to macroeconomic mismanagement and the imposition of intensified nuclear-related sanctions between 2010 and 2015.