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Active Citizens and Retirement Planning: Enlarging Freedom of Choice in the Course of Pension Reforms in Nordic Countries and Germany

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  • Hinrichs, Karl
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    Abstract

    One feature of recent pension reforms in OECD countries has been that more individual responsibility is transferred to employees and in particular to those approaching the end of their working life. Enlarged freedom of choice concerns the timing of retirement with corresponding consequences for the level of public pensions as well as the participation in supplementary pension schemes and subsequent decisions about investment of savings, take out of benefits etc. Within such changed framework individual retirement planning becomes more complex and risky. Starting from the question why the government is in the "pension business" at all, the paper explores the reasons (and the extent) of enlarging freedom of choice in four countries where major pension reforms have recently taken place (Finland, Germany, Sweden) or are entering the agenda (Norway). The risks of increased self-responsibility with regard to provision for old age are analyzed in general, and the concrete policy changes are evaluated comparatively in view of respective institutional legacies and current challenges and conflicts. --

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    Paper provided by University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS) in its series Working papers of the ZeS with number 11/2004.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeswps:112004

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    1. Zvi Bodie, 1989. "Pensions as Retirement Income Insurance," NBER Working Papers 2917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2002. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Seminar Papers, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies 712, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    3. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M., 2003. "Imputed Rent and Income Inequality: A Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, West Germany and the U.S," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 513-537.
    4. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2000. "How Should We Insure Longevity Risk In Pensions And Social Security?," Issues in Brief ib-4, Center for Retirement Research.
    5. David Blake, 2003. "The United Kingdom pension system: key issues," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 24851, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. John, Susan St. & Willmore, Larry, 2001. "Two Legs are Better than Three: New Zealand as a Model for Old Age Pensions," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1291-1305, August.
    7. Andy Eschtruth & Jonathan Gemus, 2002. "Are Older Workers Responding To The Bear Market?," Just the Facts, Center for Retirement Research jtf-5, Center for Retirement Research.
    8. Jens Lundsgaard, 2002. "Competition and Efficiency in Publicly Funded Services," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 331, OECD Publishing.
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