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The New Pension Mix in Europe

Recent Reforms, Their Distributional Effects and Political Dynamics


Edited By David Natali

This book – based on a research project carried out by the Observatoire Social Européen asbl, with the financial support of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) – looks at the most recent developments in pension policy and politics in Europe and advances our understanding of the field in three respects: firstly, it contributes to improve our knowledge of the most recent reform wave passed in the wake of the recent economic and financial crisis; secondly, it assesses the long-term financial and social sustainability of pensions; thirdly, it analyses the politics of pensions and the way policymakers and stakeholders interact in order to address the major challenges to pensions.

The evidence proposed by six country chapters (about Italy, France, Finland, Poland, the Netherlands and UK) and three more transversal chapters (about the role of the EU, that of trade unions in pension reforms, and the main challenges to pension systems in Europe) proves that pension systems have been altered in the wake of the recent crisis. The more evident changes have consisted of: the halt – at least in some countries – of the spread of private pension funds; the improvement in the financial viability of the systems paralleled by more evident risks for the future adequacy of pension benefits; and the alteration of pension politics with the risk of the progressive marginalisation of the trade union movement. In many countries, reforms have been passed without any major social concertation, while the European Union (EU) has had a more evident influence, especially in the countries hit most by the crisis. As a consequence of these trends, we see the emergence of a "new" pension mix in Europe, with new institutional settings, and new challenges.

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Series index


“Work & Society”

The series “Work & Society” analyses the development of employment and social policies, as well as the strategies of the different social actors, both at national and European levels. It puts forward a multi-disciplinary approach – political, sociological, economic, legal and historical – in a bid for dialogue and complementarity.

The series is not confined to the social field stricto sensu, but also aims to illustrate the indirect social impacts of economic and monetary policies. It endeavours to clarify social developments, from a comparative and a historical perspective, thus portraying the process of convergence and divergence in the diverse national societal contexts. The manner in which European integration impacts on employment and social policies constitutes the backbone of the analyses.

Series Editor: Philippe Pochet, General Director ETUI-REHS (Brussels) and Digest Editor of the Journal of European Social Policy

Published books

N° 82 – Accompagner vers l’emploi Quand les dispositifs publics se mettent en action, Christèle MEILLAND et François SARFATI, 2015, 978-2-87574-352-7.

N° 81 – Outiller les parcours professionnels. Quand les dispositifs publics se mettent en action, Sophie BERNARD, Dominique MÉDA, Michèle TALLARD (dir.), 2016, 978-2-87574-351-0.

N° 80 – Politiques de la diversité. Sociologie des discriminations et des politiques antidiscriminatoires au travail, Milena DOYTCHEVA, 2015, 978-2-87574-290-2.

No.79 – Activation Policies for the Unemployed, the Right to Work and the Duty to Work, Elise DERMINE, Daniel DUMONT (eds.), 2014, 978-2-87574-232-2.

No.78 – The Transnationalisation...

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