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Assessing the sustainability of pension reforms in Europe

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  • Grech, Aaron George

Abstract

Europe’s pensions landscape has changed dramatically since the 1990s. This paper tries to assess better the impact of these changes using a broad social sustainability framework. Pension wealth estimates for a variety of hypothetical cases are used to assess the ability of systems to alleviate poverty and maintain living standards, while setting out how reforms could change future costs and relative entitlements for different generations. By focusing on all prospective transfers rather than those at retirement and by looking into the interaction between entitlements and labour participation, this approach provides additional insights on the impact of reforms. Our estimates suggest that generosity has fallen significantly, but remains strong in many countries. However, moves to link benefits to contributions have raised adequacy concerns for certain groups and strengthened the need for longer careers. Though reforms have helped address fiscal challenges, in many countries pressures remain strong and further reforms are likely.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 51474.

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Date of creation: 18 Oct 2013
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Publication status: Published in Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy 2.29(2013): pp. 1-20
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:51474

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Keywords: Social Security; Public Pensions; Retirement; Poverty; Retirement Policies;

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References

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  1. Nicholas Barr & Peter Diamond, 2006. "The economics of pensions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2630, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Disney, Richard, 2000. "Crises in Public Pension Programmes in OECD: What Are the Reform Options?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F1-23, February.
  3. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2187-2212, December.
  4. Barr, Nicholas & Diamond, Peter, 2008. "Reforming Pensions: Principles and Policy Choices," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195311303.
  5. Libor Dušek & Juraj Kopecsni, 2008. "Policy Risk in Action: Pension Reforms and Social Security Wealth in Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia," Working Papers IES 2008/09, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jun 2008.
  6. Georges Menahem, 2007. "The decommodified security ratio:A tool for assessing European social protection systems," Post-Print halshs-00198398, HAL.
  7. Grech, Aaron George, 2012. "Evaluating the possible impact of pension reforms on future living standards in Europe," MPRA Paper 39851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Asghar Zaidi & Aaron George Grech & Michael Fuchs, 2006. "Pension policy in EU25 and its possible impact on elderly poverty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6225, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Whitehouse, Edward, 2007. "Pensions panorama: retirement-income systems in 53 countries," MPRA Paper 14797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. John P. Martin & Edward R. Whitehouse, 2008. "Reforming Retirement-Income Systems: Lessons from the Recent Experiences of OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 66, OECD Publishing.
  11. Ondřej Schneider, 2009. "Reforming Pensions in Europe: Economic Fundamentals and Political Factors," Working Papers IES 2009/08, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Feb 2009.
  12. Grech, Aaron George, 2007. "Pension policy in EU25 and its impact on pension benefits," MPRA Paper 33669, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Michael F. Förster & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2005. "Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries in the Second Half of the 1990s," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 22, OECD Publishing.
  14. Eckardt, Martina, 2003. "The Open Method of Co-ordination on Pensions - An Economic Analysis of its Effects on Pension Reforms," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 39, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  15. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aaron George, Grech, 2014. "Pension policy design: The core issues," MPRA Paper 53662, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Aaron George Grech, 2012. "Evaluating the possible impact of pension reforms on future living standards in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51296, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Grech, Aaron George, 2013. "How best to measure pension adequacy," MPRA Paper 46126, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Hasan U. Altiok & Glenn P. Jenkins, 2013. "Social security generosity, budgetary deficits and reforms in North Cyprus," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 218-235, June.
  5. Giuseppe Marotta, 2011. "Are defined contribution pension schemes socially sustainable? A conceptual map from a macroprudential perspective," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 11101, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Facoltà di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  6. repec:cep:sticas:case161 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Lijian Wang & Daniel Béland, 2014. "Assessing the Financial Sustainability of China’s Rural Pension System," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 3271-3290, May.

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