Social protection systems are fundamental to preventing and reducing poverty and inequality at every stage of people’s lives, through benefits for children, mothers with newborns, persons with disabilities, older persons and those persons who are poor and without jobs. Preliminary data show that in 2016, only 45 per cent of the world’s population was effectively protected by a social protection system and that coverage varied widely across countries and regions. In 2016, 68 per cent of people above retirement age received a pension. However, that global average masks large regional differences. In Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand, and in sub-Saharan Africa, only 10 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, of people above retirement age received a pension in 2016.