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Pensions in Europe, European Pensions

The Evolution of Pension Policy at National and Supranational Level


David Natali

Ce livre a reçu le prix de la Société italienne de science politique (SISP) comme meilleur bouquin en sciences politiques en Italie pour la période 2007-2008.
Pension policy represents in many respects the corner stone of the contemporary European welfare states. And its reform has emerged as a key issue in most of the European countries. This book aims at improving the knowledge of the long-term and more recent evolution of retirement programmes and their regulation at national and supranational level. It gives detailed information about pensions in nine Western and Eastern European countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and UK). In parallel it develops the study of the European Union action in the field, through regulation, the Stability and Growth Pact and the Open Method of Coordination.
What does history tell us about the evolution of pensions? Is it a story of stability or change? Is there any convergence between European pension models? And then what is the role of the European Union in the field?
This book provides answers to these questions and gives scholars, students and policy-makers a comprehensive description of national retirement programmes as well as theoretical analysis of the reform politics, output and outcomes with a focus on national and European dynamics.
‘Pensions in Europe, European Pensions’ represents a promising step beyond the more traditional comparative contributions, revealing the complex interaction of national and supranational institutions engaged in the most important welfare policy in the ageing European society.


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CONCLUSION The 21st Century European Pension Mix 235


235 CONCLUSION The 21st Century European Pension Mix Introduction This final part of the book provides some concluding remarks on the “state” of pension systems in Europe and their interaction with EU intervention. Some of the questions proposed at the beginning of the essay are addressed: What does history tell us about the evolution of pension programmes? Is it a story of stability or change? Is there any convergence between pension models? What is the role of the EU in the field? What are the main elements of the interplay between state, market and the other institutions in the area? The first section focuses on the main features and (expected) out- comes of the recent reform process across EU countries (at least those under scrutiny). By assessing stability and innovation, convergence and divergence, the second section then provides a new categorization of pension systems. The third section revisits the concept of welfare mix and adapts it to pension policy. The aim is to describe the present and projected future interaction between state, market and occupational schemes (mainly based on the action of social partners), in order to assess the eventual “residualization” of public provisions and the parallel wider role of private and occupational schemes. To assess innovation and stability we refer to the change in the institutional design (multi-pillar, single-pillar or other) and goal of public systems (status-maintenance, poverty- prevention, etc.), with further reference to risk-pooling. The way old-age risks are socialized or individualized is a good indicator of the...

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