"/> Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2009): Pensions - overseas
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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2009): Pensions - overseas

Disparities in pension systems and financial flows among European countries

J. Chateau, X. Chojnicki and R. Magnani

Journal of Pensions Economics and Finance, Vol. 8, 2009, p. 1-33.

This article presents a quantitative analysis of the effect of ageing and pension reforms on the capital and labour markets of France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It looks in particular at the effect on flows of capital between European countries. It compares and contrasts the situation and systems in these three countries, and concludes that using debt financing seems to be an ineffective way of financing retirement systems.

Revisiting the 1983 Social Security reforms, 25 years later

J. Song and J. Manchester

Research on Aging, vol.31, 2009, p. 233-260

In an effort to improve the solvency of the state pension system, the US Congress enacted the Social Security Amendments of 1983 and the Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000. These reforms gradually raise the normal retirement age and remove the retirement earnings test. The authors examine the impact of these reforms on the age at which people claim state retirement benefits. They estimate that an increase of 12 months in the normal retirement age decreases the probability of claiming benefits at 62 by about 8%.

(See also Research on Aging, vol.31, 2009, p. 261-290)

Social policy and economic development in South America: an historical approach to social insurance

C.M. Lewis and P. Lloyd-Sherlock

Economy and Society, vol.38, 2009, p. 109-131

This article examines the structural and organisational problems facing social insurance systems in Brazil and Argentina through the twentieth century. Much of the current debate depicts crises in social insurance systems as a modern phenomenon. In contrast, this article stresses the generational and cyclical nature of the crises that have plagued social insurance regimes in both countries. Pension funds established for influential groups of workers in the early twentieth century quickly developed deficits and this led to the extension of social insurance (and hence the pool of contributors). Financial instability was exacerbated by states frequently raiding pension funds. The article analyses historic shifts between various social insurance models (individual, capitalised accounts versus pay-as-you-go schemes and monopolistic state systems versus competitive arrangements), evaluating their impact on coverage, equity, financial stability and administrative effectiveness.

Social security and privatization: a viable combination?

S.R. Rose and W. Cartwright

Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, vol. 25, 2009, p. 17-25

Privatisation involves placing contributions to the US national pension system (Social Security) into individual savings accounts. Recent moves to promote such privatisation assume that the Social Security system itself is in crisis due to future projected financial shortfalls. However, it is argued that minor adjustments to the system should be sufficient to ensure its future sustainability without abandoning it to the private sector.

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