Sometimes being 'the first' to introduce a particular social reform, such as noncontributory pensions
based on statutory entitlement, was a strenuous task.
A break-down of the records show 295,000 were related to state pensions, 63,000 to oneparent family payments, 15,000 to widows' noncontributory pensions
and 800 to orphans contributory pensions.
The starting point for debates discussing the potential of noncontributory pensions to bridge the coverage gap is that too little is still known regarding how well universal non-contributory pensions will function in low-income countries with weak fiscal and administrative capacities (Charlton and McKinnon, 2001).
While there is growing supportive evidence about the fiscal feasibility for most countries of basic non-contributory pensions as well as a greater understanding about how benefits should be designed and even how administrations and agencies should reach-out to benefit recipients, remaining key questions relate to what form the institutional structure of the central administration of the noncontributory pension system should take and where the necessary finance should be sourced from?
Haber finds, as did contemporary observers like Louis Brandeis, that qualification for noncontributory pensions was so constrained that it amounted to a form of "peonage." Pensions were then "a tool through which [management could] exert control over their laborers." Fearful of aggressive unionization in the workers' emerging brotherhoods, railroad management threatened workers with loss of retirement funds if they struck.(4)
Retirees were to receive a noncontributory pension, calculated on length of service and wages in the last decade of employment, a formula borrowed from English railroads.
Following warnings from the company's general solicitor, PRR officials emphasized the purely voluntary nature of a noncontributory pension, which should not be "construed to give any .
and social protection." Paper for the series 'Issues in Social Protection'.