Since the early 1990s the countries of the European Union and Central and Eastern Europe have been involved in the process of reforming their retirement income systems. The principal objective of these reforms is to contain the cost of pay-as-you-go public pension in the face of ageing populations. Many of the reforms involve greater reliance on personal saving and the development of capital markets to fund private pension arrangements. The contributors from Europe and the United States demonstrate the complexity of pension provision and reform, and highlight the dangers of focusing on one particular model. They consider critical issues and debates about how to finance pensions, present evidence on the effects of pension reform on the incomes of the elderly, set out objectives to ensure intergenerational equity in public pensions and examine different pathways to pension coverage. They also argue that recent reforms in Europe may have the effect of reducing the incomes of future pensioners while exposing them to uninsurable risks associated with private pensions. This volume addresses a pervasive and increasingly important issue by identifying differences in pension systems throughout the EU and Europe as a whole, and proposing various reforms and solutions to to the emerging problem of pension provision. It should be a useful reference for academics, ecomists, policymakers and government agencies concerned with the evolution and reform of pensions, and with social and ecomic development in general.
Edited by Gerard Hughes, Visiting Professor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and Jim Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland