Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2007): Pensions - overseas

The political future of social security in aging societies

V. Galasso

London: MIT Press, 2006

The book argues that social policy decisions regarding the pensions systems go beyond economic theory into the realm of politics. Since the effect of aging on the unfunded pensions systems calls for either higher contribution rates or lower pension benefits, the political process will have to reconcile the conflicting interests of different generations. The book provides a quantitative comparative analysis of the future political sustainability of social security in six aging societies – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States – that differ in the magnitude of the aging process, in the current level and design of the existing social security systems and in their political dynamics. It concludes that postponing retirement leads to more generous pensions, and hence represents the only viable solution to pension system problems in the face of population aging.

The rules of the game: the politics of national pensions in Korea

G.-J. Hwang

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 41, 2007, p. 132-147

The Korean public pension is a social insurance system in which benefits are financed by means of contributions imposed equally on insured persons and their employers. The system was first enacted in 1973, implemented only in 1988, and reformed in 1998. The pensions system developed over time in an incremental fashion, until by 1999 it covered over 70% of the working population. This article looks at how and in whose interest national pensions came onto the political agenda, how they are framed and defined, and how political actors have responded to the pressure for reform.

Switzerland’s hidden dangers

B. Evans-Pritchard

Life and Pensions, Mar. 2007, p.19-22

There is growing concern that the valuation of Swiss occupational pension funds may not reflect economic reality, and that funding levels are significantly lower than accounts show. Funding levels are particularly bad in the public sector, and there is debate over the extent to which government should be expected to bail out funds that have got into difficulty. A spate of insider dealing scandals has also raised questions over governance practices in the industry.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web