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.
The New Pension Mix in Europe. Reform Trends, Policy and Political Challenges, Open Research Questions (David Natali)
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The New Pension Mix in Europe
Reform Trends, Policy and Political Challenges, Open Research Questions
Pensions policy attracts an enormous amount of interest on the part of policy analysts and scholars. The last years have provided evidence of the huge amount of research monitoring pensions across Europe (see e.g. Ebbinghaus, 2011a; 2015; Casey, 2012; Guardiancich, 2013; Naczyk and Domonkos, 2016; Torp, 2015). Yet we still need to improve our knowledge of this policy field.
This book looks at the most recent developments in pension policy and politics in Europe and tries to advance our understanding of the field in three respects. Firstly, while a large literature has focused on the reforms passed between the 1980s and early 2000s, we still need to improve our knowledge of the most recent reform wave. In the wake of the recent economic and financial crisis, Europe has seen an impressive reform effort that still needs a systematic assessment in terms of its consequences for the institutional design of pension systems and their distributional outcomes. Secondly, in a context marked by ongoing reforms, it is crucial to assess the long-term sustainability of pensions. We refer here to both the financial sustainability of pension schemes (both public and private) and their social sustainability. The latter refers to the adequacy of present and future benefits. In this case too, much of the literature looks at the effects...
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