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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2000): Pensions - Overseas

BUSH IN PLAN TO OVERHAUL SOCIAL SECURITY

R. Wolffe

Financial Times, May 15th 2000, p. 6

Pension reform is one of the most contentious conflicts between the two US presidential candidates. George W. Bush proposes allowing employees to invest about 2% of the 12.4% payroll tax that funds the pension scheme into private accounts. Al Gore proposes using the federal budget surplus to bolster the pension fund.

BUSH PLAYS FOR HIGH STAKES ON PENSIONS

G. Baker

Financial Times, May 9th 2000, p. 13

US Presidential candidate George W. Bush has indicated that he will reform the state pension scheme, possibly by the introduction of a limited form of private savings into the publicly funded but financially stretched, system.

DELAYED SUNSET

H. Glennerster

Guardian. Society, May 17th 2000, p. 7

The proportion of British men working after the age of 50 has been falling since the 1980s. This trend has been reversed in the US where older men are coming back into the workforce following a number of policy changes. The US government made a series of changes to combat age discrimination in the workplace, and to remove perverse incentives built into their social security system that encouraged early retirement. In the present system Americans receive reduced pensions if they retire early and much enhanced ones if they retire later.

DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE IN SOCIAL SECURITY PENSION REFORMS

S. G. Ross

International Social Security Review, vol. 53, Apr. - June 2000, p. 3-29

A debate is going on about the most appropriate way for States to provide for retirement income for their citizens. It centres on the relative merits of privately managed, fully funded defined contribution plans as opposed to publicly managed, pay-as-you-go, defined benefit plans. Paper aims to examine the dominant contending doctrinal approaches in relation to actual state practice, and to show that, while doctrines do inform policy, the key determinant is not one of economic or social policy but of political culture. The critical problem is to build a social security system that is realistically based on the actual economic, social and political conditions of a particular country.

FROM THATCHER (AND PINOCHET) TO CLINTON? CONSERVATIVE THINK TANKS, FOREIGN MODELS AND US PENSIONS REFORM

D. Bland and A. Waddan

The Political Quarterly, vol. 72, no. 1, 2000, p. 202-210

The debate about the continuing viability of the existing government-run pension system has recently intensified in The United States. American conservative think-tanks have been happy to point to foreign models and in particular to Chile and the United Kingdom as suggesting a say ahead. The article examines the theme of pension privatisation in the US and concludes that foreign examples largely ignore the differences between the US and other pension systems.

LONG-TERM POPULATION PROJECTIONS AND THE US SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

R. Lee

Population and Development Review, vol. 26, 2000, p. 137-143

According to a report recently issued by the Technical Panel for the US Social Security Administration, the long-term financial outlook for the system is worse than previously thought. The worsening projected by the Panel in the long-run funding imbalance of the Social Security System is mostly due to the recommendation by the panel to add an extra four years to the currently projected increase in life expectancy by 2075: from 81.8 years to 85.9 years.

PENSION REFORM AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION: FROM CONFLICT TO CONVERGENCE

M. Queisser

International Social Security Review, vol. 53, Apr. - June 2000, p. 31-45

Paper explores and compares the ideas on pension policy held by the International Labour Organisation, the International Social Security Organisation, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Although, initially, the discussion of pension reform was characterised by fierce debate with a marked ideological bent, all the participants are now aiming at mutual understanding and co-operation in member states and recipient countries.

PENSION SYSTEM SHOWS ITS AGE

G. Baker

Financial Times, May 4th 2000, p. 21

The US public pension system is a pay-as-you-go scheme financed by a tax of more than 12% of an employee's income. Its long term viability is threatened by population ageing, and there is a case for its reform by allowing people to divert some of their current social security levy into private investments.

PENSIONS TIME BOMB TICKS ON FOR EUROPE

A. Murray

Times, Apr. 12th 2000, p. 31

A consortium of 17 multinational companies is planning to bring a test case to the European Court of Justice in the hope of establishing a precedent in favour of pan-European pension funds and outlawing tax discrimination. Labour mobility, capital market integration and the competitiveness of multinationals would all be enhanced by an effective system of cross-border pensions.

RISKY BUSINESS? EVALUATING MARKET RISK OF EQUITY INVESTMENT PROPOSALS TO REFORM SOCIAL SECURITY

C. E. Weller

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 19, 2000, p. 263-273

A number of options have been proposed to address the expected shortfall in the US state pension fund in the 21st century. All options would permit equity investment either by the state or by private individuals. Article discusses the risks involved in either public or private equity investment as a funding solution for the state pension. For public equity investment, financial market risk remains significant for 40 years. For individual accounts, the chance of doing worse than with the current state pension or of falling into poverty in retirement is generally high, but varies with income level, gender, family status and employment history.

SOCIAL SECURITY PENSIONS: DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM

C. Gillion

Geneva: International Labour Organisation, 2000

Some 90% of the world's workers have no pension for their old age. This will become a growing problem as people live longer and traditional extended families diminish. For Western countries, problems of funding pension schemes will grow with increased life expectancy and falling birth rates. Report recommends that institutions such as savings clubs, co-operatives and other voluntary bodies should be encouraged by governments to develop anti-poverty retirement protection schemes. The best way to deal with ageing populations is to increase retirement age and encourage more women into the workforce.

UNDERSTANDING THE WAVE OF PENSION REFORMS

R. L. Madrid

International Social Sciences Journal, no. 163, 2000, p. 51-59

Governments have viewed pension reform as necessary both to solve the financial problems created by the ageing of their populations and to help their countries compete in an increasingly integrated and highly volatile economic environment.

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