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

European pension reforms: individualisation, privatisation and gender pension gaps

P. Fredericks, R. Maier and W. De Graaf

Social Politics, vol. 14, 2007, p.212-237

Examines the impact of welfare system reforms on gender pension gaps in European countries (including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, The Netherlands and the 'gender-friendly' Scandinavian countries) with particular reference to the impact of privatisation of pension entitlements. Includes analysis of the employment patterns and earnings of women in these countries. Concludes that developing pension systems to meet the needs of women and men and that support equality is a serious challenge.

An experimental test on retirement decisions

E. Fatas, J.A. Lacomba and F. Lagos

Economic Inquiry, vol. 45, 2007, p.602-614

It is widely considered that, unless serious changes take place, the aging of the population, implying a rise in the number of retired people relative to workers, will threaten the viability of pay-as-you-go public pension schemes in the long run. This article contributes to the debate on how people may be encouraged to work longer by presenting the results of an original experimental test where subjects faced three different payoff sequences with identical expected value. The results suggest that a lump sum payment is more effective than annuity benefits in inducing people to delay retirement.

Union structures and pension outcomes in Greece

M. Matsaganis

British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 45, 2007, p.537-555

This article looks at union opposition to pension reform in Greece, and tries to understand the reasons behind it. It finds that a severe bias of representation in terms of gender, age/cohort, ethnic origin and, in particular, social insurance affiliation and sector of the economy may explain the unions' opposition to pension reforms which would, if they went ahead, lead to a fairer pensions system for most people.

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