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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2003): Pensions - Overseas

CONTROVERSY DOGS PENSION REFORM

Anon.

European Industrial Relations Review, issue 354, 2003, p.25-28

Looks in detail at the Austrian government's pension reform proposals which revolve round a handful of key measures including the abolition of early retirement options and a large reduction in the value of new pensions.

CONTROVERSY OVER PLANNED PENSION REFORM

Anon.

European Industrial Relations Review, issue 353, 2003, p.14-17

Presents an overview of the planned reform of the French pension system. The draft legislation aims to:

  • maintain the value of pensions by increasing the length of time contributions are paid;
  • preserve fairness and social justice in the pension system;
  • allow each individual an element of choice as regards their own retirement conditions.

THE POLITICS OF PENSION REFORM: LESSONS FROM PUBLIC ATTITUDES IN GREECE

O. O'Donnell and P. Tinios

Political Studies, vol. 51, 2003, p.262-281

Paper explores ways in which public attitudes have influenced pension reform in Greece. Here widespread dissatisfaction with the pension system is combined with fierce opposition to reform. Political opposition to reform appears to be rooted in limited knowledge of the parameters of current pension arrangements, lack of appreciation of the consequences of fiscal pressures on the system, aversion to change generated by its inherent uncertainty, and the influence of powerful minorities.

SOCIAL SECURITY, AGE OF RETIREMENT, AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING: INTERTEMPORAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC PATTERNS AMONG RETIRED WORKER BENEFICIARIES

R. Haveman and others

Demography, vol.40, 2003, p.369-394

Examines the economic status of a sample of recipients of the US state pension shortly after their retirement in 1982 and 10 years later in 1991. Found that early retirement is strongly and positively associated with pensioner poverty. Early retirees, single women and widows experienced large declines in income over the decade following their retirement.

WELFARE RETRENCHMENT OR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY? THE PRIVATISATION OF PUBLIC PENSIONS IN WESTERN EUROPE

M. Hyde, J. Dixon and G. Drover

Social Policy and Society, vol.2, 2003, p.189-197

Public pension privatisation in Europe has been seen as being part of a broader programme of welfare retrenchment, informed by neoliberal values, that will intensify poverty among future generations of pensioners. Article takes issue with these assumptions. Argues that public pensions privatisation approaches adopted have been consistent to varying degrees with Western Europe's collectivist ideological heritage. The West European experience suggests that collective responsibility for needs satisfaction in the pensions field can be pursued by means other than direct public provision, such as "social partners" provision, "social market" provision and "regulated market" provision.

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