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The Politics of Parliamentary Pensions in Western Democracies

Understanding MPs’ Self-Imposed Cutbacks

Anna Caroline Warfelmann

The author takes a close look at the politics of parliamentary pensions in Australia, Austria, Canada, and Germany and enlightens the reasons of self-imposed cuts by Members of Parliament. Members of Parliament in western democracies have been under growing pressure since they legislated first retrenchments of national social security systems. They are in a special situation because they have to decide about their own financial situation as well. Thus, it is surprising that they cut their own pension benefits in recent years. The book shows that the self-imposed cuts by Members of Parliament were related to public pension reforms but, in general, were less substantial.
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Prof. Dr. Karl Hinrichs advised me on this project from its initial conception through its completion. He read several drafts over the years and encouraged me throughout this time. He was (and still is) a keen and interested tutor and teacher, friendly reviewer and advisor. His ideas contributed significantly to the present study on MPs’ self-imposed cutbacks. I am deeply grateful for his effort and motivating comments. I also want to thank my second supervisor, Prof. Dr. Frank Nullmeier, for his interest in the topic of MPs’ pension and his generous support.

The Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) provided me with excellent working conditions to enable me to write my dissertation. I sincerely thank the entire administrative staff and the IT staff for their assistance. Additionally, I am grateful to the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung for funding and supporting this project.

Colleagues from the thematic field “Welfare State, Inequality and Quality of Life” became close friends during the last few years. First and foremost, I want to thank Dr. Catherine L. Blair, Dr. Julia Gieseler, and Dr. Philine Weyrauch-Herrmann for their constructive recommendations and friendship.

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