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Pension Reform and Economic Performance in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s

  • Richard Disney
  • Carl Emmerson
  • Sarah Smith

The late 1980s saw a major shift in pension provision in the United Kingdom, when for the first time individuals were permitted to opt out of part of the social security program into individual retirement saving accounts (Personal Pensions). At the same time, membership of company-provided pension plans (occupational schemes) was made voluntary. The paper explores the possible impact of these, and other related changes in social security in the 1980s and 1990s in the UK, on household saving rates, on current and future public finances, on retirement, and on the job mobility of individuals covered by company pension plans.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9556.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Publication status: published as Card, David, Richard Blundell, and Richard B. Freeman (eds.) Seeking a premier economy: The economic effects of British economic reforms, 1980-2000 NBER Comparative Labor Markets Series. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9556
Note: AG LS
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  1. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Deborah Roseveare & Willi Leibfritz & Douglas Fore & Eckhard Wurzel, 1996. "Ageing Populations, Pension Systems and Government Budgets: Simulations for 20 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 168, OECD Publishing.
  3. repec:fth:harver:1490 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Robert K. Triest, 1997. "Social security reform: an overview," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 3-16.
  5. Richard Disney & Costas Meghir & Edward Whitehouse, 1994. "Retirement behaviour in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 24-43, February.
  6. James Banks & Carl Emmerson, 2000. "Public and private pension spending: principles, practice and the need for reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 1-63, March.
  7. Miles, David, 1999. "Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change upon the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 1-36, January.
  8. Mealli, Fabrizia & Pudney, Stephen, 1996. "Occupational Pensions and Job Mobility in Britain: Estimation of a Random-Effects Competing Risks Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 293-320, May-June.
  9. R Disney & C Emmerson & M Wakefield, 2001. "Pension reform and saving in Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 70-94, Spring.
  10. Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson & Matthew Wakefield, 2007. "Pension Provision and Retirement Saving: Lessons from the United Kingdom," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 176, McMaster University.
  11. Alan Gustman & Thomas Steinmeier, 1990. "Pension Portability and Labor Mobility: Evidence From the Survey of Income and Program Participation," NBER Working Papers 3525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Edward P. Lazear & Robert L. Moore, 1988. "Pensions and Turnover," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 163-190 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
  14. Blake, David, 2003. "Pension Schemes and Pension Funds in the United Kingdom," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243532, March.
  15. Peacock, Alan, 1992. "The Credibility of Economic Advice to Government," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1213-22, September.
  16. Richard Disney & Paul Johnson (ed.), 2001. "Pension Systems and Retirement Incomes across OECD Countries," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2275, July.
  17. Richard Blundell & Paul Johnson, 1999. "Pensions and Retirement in the United Kingdom," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 403-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Armando Barrientos, 1998. "Supplementary pension coverage in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 429-446, November.
  19. Sheetal K. Chand & Albert Jaeger, 1996. "Aging Populations and Public Pension Schemes," IMF Occasional Papers 147, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Henning Bohn, 1997. "Social Security reform and financial markets," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 41(Jun), pages 193-227.
  21. Steven A. Sass & Robert K. Triest, 1997. "Social Security reform: links to saving, investment and growth," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 41(Jun).
  22. Zvi Bodie & Alan J. Marcus & Robert C. Merton, 1988. "Defined Benefit versus Defined Contribution Pension Plans: What are the Real Trade-offs?," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 139-162 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Whitehouse, Edward, 2000. "Administrative charges for funded pensions : an international comparison and assessment," Social Protection Discussion Papers 23140, The World Bank.
  24. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1992. "The personal pensions stampede," MPRA Paper 10476, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  25. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 2000. "The abolition of the earnings rule for UK pensioners," IFS Working Papers W00/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  26. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  27. Henley, Andrew & Disney, Richard & Carruth, Alan, 1994. "Job Tenure and Asset Holdings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 338-49, March.
  28. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1993. "Contracting-Out and Lifetime Redistribution in the UK State Pension System," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(1), pages 25-41, February.
  29. Agar Brugiavini & Richard Disney, 1995. "The choice of private pension plans under uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W95/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  30. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale, 1997. "Effects of Social Security reform on private and national saving," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 41(Jun), pages 103-142.
  31. Richard Disney, 1996. "Can We Afford to Grow Older?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026204157x, June.
  32. Carl Emmerson & Sarah Tanner, 2000. "A note on the tax treatment of private pensions and Individual Savings Accounts," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 65-74, March.
  33. Richard Disney & Robert Palacios & Edward Whitehouse, 1999. "Individual choice of pension arrangement as a pension reform strategy," IFS Working Papers W99/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  34. Creedy, John & Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1993. "The Earnings-Related State Pension, Indexation and Lifetime Redistribution in the U.K," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(3), pages 257-78, September.
  35. Richard Disney & Edward Whitehouse, 1992. "Personal pensions and the review of the contracting-out terms," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 38-53, February.
  36. Alan Budd & Nigel Campbell, 1998. "The Roles of the Public and Private Sectors in the U.K. Pension System," NBER Chapters, in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 99-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. McCormick, Barry & Hughes, Gordon, 1984. "The influence of pensions on job mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 183-206.
  38. Richard Blundell & Costas Meghir & Sarah Smith, 2004. "Pension Incentives and the Pattern of Retirement in the United Kingdom," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation, pages 643-690 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Dilnot, Andrew & Disney, Richard & Johnson, Paul & Whitehouse, Edward, 1994. "Pensions policy in the UK: An economic analysis," MPRA Paper 10478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  40. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1996. "What Are Occupational Pension Plan Entitlements Worth in Britain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 213-38, May.
  41. Richard Blundell & Costas Meghir & Sarah Smith, 2002. "Pension Incentives and the Pattern of Early Retirement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C153-C170, March.
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