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

Marital history, race and Social Security spouse and widow benefit eligibility in the United States

C.R. Tamborini, H.M. Iams and K. Whitman

Research on Aging, vol. 31, 2009, p. 577-605

Over the past decades, large scale changes in American family structures have occurred, which may have implications for the retirement experiences of women. This article focuses on recent sociodemographic trends in marriage in the United States and their impact on women's potential eligibility for Social Security spouse and widow benefits. Due to downward trends in marriage, the authors find a modest decline in Social Security spouse and widow benefit eligibility in 2004, particularly among Black women born toward the end of the baby boom generation.

Policy change and the politics of ideas: the emergence of the Canada/Quebec Pension Plans

K. Barch and D. Beland

Canadian Review of Sociology, vol.46, 2009, p. 253-271

Adopted in 1965, the Canada/Quebec Pension Plans (C/QPP) provide earnings related pensions to workers aged 65 and older. With a replacement rate of only 25%, the C/QPP are modest public pension programmes which leave plenty of room for private savings and occupational pensions. The aim of this article is to shed new light on the creation of the C/QPP by answering two closely related questions. Firstly, why did the Federal Government decide to create an earnings-related public pension system on top of the existing flat rate pension (Old Age Security)? Secondly, why did that system feature a higher than initially proposed replacement rate and a separate scheme for the province of Quebec? An analysis of the debates leading up to the enactment of the C/QPP is used to show the direct impact of ideas on social policy change.

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