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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2011): Pensions - overseas

The centre-right way forward

R. Mallon

European Pensions, Apr. 2011, p. 28-29

Following a general election on February 25th 2011, Fine Gael is now in power in Ireland in coalition with Labour. Both parties published different proposals for pension saving and associated taxation in their election literature, and the stance of the new government is unclear.

If it's not broke .

C. Andrews

European Pensions, Apr. 2011, p. 24-25

The Swiss government has been consulting on proposals to reform the supervisory structure that regulates occupational pensions, while improving governance within the schemes. Unfortunately the pension industry is unhappy with the plans, arguing that they would create a structure of over-the-top micro-management of the activities of funds.

Italy: why is the second pillar not taking off?

G. Franco

European Pensions, Apr. 2011, p. 32-33

In Italy, the main provider of retirement benefits is INPS, the Italian social security system. These benefits will decrease over time as a result of reforms, so legislation has been introduced to encourage the development of supplementary pension plans. However take-up rates for, and contributions to, supplementary pension plans have been low, which is likely to result in inadequate retirement income, especially for young people.

Pan-European pensions: building blocks for Europe

I. Oudenampsen

European Pensions, Apr. 2011, p. 22-23

Now that the European Union has more or less decided that there will be no Solvency II for IORPS, another step has been taken towards the creation of a Pan-European pension system. This would make it easier for mobile workers across the union to save for an occupational or private pension, but is still at the idea rather than the implementation stage.

Public sector pensions in the USA

Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, vol.10, 2011, p.161-361

The financial status of public pensions and retiree health plans is one of the most important questions confronting state and local governments in the USA. The first five papers in this special issue focus on the funding status and financial management of these plans. The final three papers examine plan design issues, labour market effects of public pension plans, and retiree health plans. The research shows that public sector retirement plans are more generous than those in the private sector, but are frequently underfunded, sometimes dramatically so. Further, public pension fund managers do not invest in a manner consistent with asset-liability matching. Virtually all public sector workers are covered by generous defined benefit pension plans, which discourage staff turnover and encourage retention. Reforms could adversely affect the public sector's ability to attract high quality recruits and retain staff.

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