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The Welfare State of the Civil (or Public) Servants in Europe: A Comparison of the Pension Systems for Civil (or Public) Servants in France, Great Britain, and Germany

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  • Franz Rothenbacher
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    The civil service in Europe has been undergoing profound changes since the 1980s. Two major developments are responsible for these changes: first, the high budget deficits of governments, and second, the demographic changes causing the share of pensioners to increase. These challenges have caused reactions on the part of governments which are rather similar in most European countries: reducing public sector employment is the most important strategy. Another strategy could be to reduce the salaries of public servants; however, this strategy is not easy to follow because there is a danger of state employment losing its attractiveness. A third strategy to deal with these problems is to reduce pension rights, which are still more favourable for employees in the public service than in the private sector. Against the background of these challenges, the paper focuses on a systematic comparison of the old age pension system in three countries: France, Great Britain and Germany. One main aim of the paper will be to elaborate the main structure of the pension schemes in the civil services in these countries, which, indeed, differ a lot, to relate them to the life chances of civil servants in their old age, and to evaluate the effects of pension policy reforms in the public sector in order to solve problems of population ageing. Thus, this contribution tries to investigate the relationship between the institutional level of pay determination and pension regulations and the life chances (incomes, pensions) of people working in the public sector. At the same time it aims at evaluating institutional regulations by looking at the outcomes of these institutions.

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    Paper provided by MZES in its series MZES Working Papers with number 74.

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    Date of creation: 17 Feb 2004
    Handle: RePEc:erp:mzesxx:p0053
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    1. Wolfgang Zapf, 1984. "Welfare production: Public versus private," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 263-274, April.
    2. Klaus-Dietrich Bedau, 1999. "Zur materiellen Lage der Senioren in West- und Ostdeutschland," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(37), pages 667-678.
    3. Franz Rothenbacher, 1998. "European Scientific Socio-Economic Reporting: State and Possibilities of Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 291-328, July.
    4. Blake, David, 2003. "Pension Schemes and Pension Funds in the United Kingdom," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243532.
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