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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 1999): Pensions - Overseas

INADEQUATE POLICY OR OPERATIONAL FAILURE? THE POTENTIAL CRISIS OF THE KOREAN NATIONAL PENSION PROGRAMME

H. Kwon
Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p. 20-38

Paper argues that the crisis in the Korean National Pension Fund is strongly related to inadequate policy design, which promises generous pensions and at the same time requires only a small amount in contributions. When the foundations of the Korean welfare state were laid, economic development was the overwhelming concern, taking priority of social protection. The National Pension Programme was used as an effective measure to increase savings rates at given wage levels without tax resistance. The capital raised was invested in government projects for the social infrastructure. Paper concludes by arguing that the Korean Welfare State, created in a time of economic development, is transient in nature and is in need of major reform both to contain costs and to meet the growing demand for social welfare.

INVESTMENT FREEDOM KEY TO A EUROPEAN PENSION SOLUTION

T. Collinge
Pensions International, issue 4, 1999, p. 16-17.

Argues that Europe must shift some responsibility for pensions towards funded schemes that enjoy liberal investment and domestic taxation regimes. Failure to do so could lead to increased poverty among the retired population, heavy taxation of working people to support unfunded pensions and increased unemployment as employers attempt to avoid the costs of social security levies.

POLICY CHANGE AT A TIME OF RETRENCHMENT: RECENT PENSION REFORM IN FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY AND THE UK

P. Taylor-Gooby
Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p. 1-19.

Papers reviews pension policy in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. It argues that developments in Germany suggest that it is possible to achieve appropriate policy change in a country which is often used as the paradigm of entrenched interests without major restructuring of the system. Conversely, recent reforms in the UK appear disproportionate to the scale of the problems faced and may have damaged pensioners' interests.

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