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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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This book is based on a research project carried out by the Observatoire social européen asbl, with the financial support of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

First of all, I should like to thank Maria Jepsen, Director of the Research Department of the European Trade Union Institute, for her support and patience in waiting for the final draft.

My sincere gratitude goes to Bart Vanhercke, Director of the Observatoire social européen asbl, and Denis Bouget, Scientific Advisor at the Observatoire social européen asbl, for their help and support during the whole project. Also to the team of contributors for their extraordinary work and patience throughout the very long period of preparation and then finalisation of the volume. Special thanks to Janine Leschke and Furio Stamati for their valuable input, which, at various stages enriched the project and the book.

I am also indebted to Françoise Verri, who contributed to the lay-out of the book and ensured all the necessary harmonization with great patience. I owe her a special debt of gratitude.

David Natali, December 2016 ← 15 | 16 →

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