Financially and politically, old age pensions are one of the cornerstones of modern welfare states, with a long history behind them. Pension systems and pension reforms have not only commanded the special attention of welfare researchers. Over the past few years, politicians throughout most of Europe have discovered that pension reforms can be both a difficult and a hazardous venture. In this book a number of researchers analyse the historical political development of European pension systems as well as present-day political and economic challenges. The authors comprise economists, political scientists and historians. The multi-disciplinary approach of the book combined with its comparative and historical perspective make possible a finely graded presentation of public pension systems and the challenges facing them.