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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2006): Pensions - Overseas

N. Whiteside

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.16, 2006, p.43-54

Historically, different countries used different institutional structures to secure state pensions at the end of the Second World War. However, European states in the postwar period also had a range of occupational and professional schemes serving discreet sectors which allowed retirement income to reflect previous earnings. Policymakers viewed the extension of these ostensibly private schemes as one way to combat pensioner poverty without increasing public spending. Faced with public demand for more generous pension provision, European governments adopted earnings-related systems as a way forward. However, the different policy instruments and institutions available to governments to realise these objectives resulted in a growing diversity of pension policy, particularly between Britain and continental Europe. This was reflected in different combinations of public and private provision, with the state exercising different degrees of influence in shaping earnings-related pensions and their subsequent development.

B. Miksa

Pensions International, issue 78, 2006, p.6-7

European countries are struggling to reform their pension systems in the face of population ageing and increased longevity. Article identifies three common features of reform measures: 1) curbing the generosity of the state pension; 2) encouraging private pension provision; and 3) increased capital funding of pension schemes.

S. Kim

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol.15, 2006, p.75-83

Using the development of Korea’s public pension system as an example, the author shows that existing welfare state theories from the West have little relevance to explaining and understanding the Korean situation. Instead, this study employs a historical institutional perspective which considers the possibility that the major causal variables identified in past theories could interact with each other in dynamic and often unpredictable ways depending upon the specific context.

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