Cornell University officials just completed a third session with Central Asian government officials in an effort to help establish funded pension systems in their countries.
The most recent, week-long, session took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with where three Cornell officials, said Judith Eger, director of special programs at Cornell. Countries with participating officials were Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, all formerly part of the Soviet Union.
Ms. Eger said the programs were successful in opening the officials' eyes to how pensions and benefits are administered in the United States. She said the U.S. system of accounting, reporting and oversight was amazing to the participating officials.
Still, officials in those countries have a tough job ahead before their pension systems are up and running, she said.
Getting the needed pension laws is a slow process, she said. At the same time, people there have become accustomed to receiving pensions from their government.
"There are a lot of needs, a lot of expectations, but no resources," she said. "In the past, everything came from Moscow."