Skip to main content
×
Home

Reforming State Pension Provision in ‘Liberal’ Anglo-Saxon Countries: Re-Commodification, Cost-Containment or Recalibration?

  • David Lain (a1), Sarah Vickerstaff (a2) and Wendy Loretto (a3)
Abstract

There are good theoretical reasons for expecting pension reform in Anglo-Saxon countries to follow similar paths. Esping-Andersen (1990) famously identified these countries as belonging to the same ‘Liberal’ model of welfare, under which benefits, including pensions, are said to be residual and weakly ‘de-commodifying’, reducing individuals’ reliance on the market to a much lesser degree than elsewhere. Pierson (2001) has furthermore argued that because of path dependency welfare states are likely to follow established paths when dealing with ‘permanent austerity’. Following this logic, Aysan and Beaujot (2009) argue that pension reform in liberal countries has resulted in increasing re-commodification. In this paper, we review pension reforms in the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand in the 2000s. We argue that because, in reality, the pension systems differed significantly at the point of reform, the paths followed varied considerably in terms of whether they focused on ‘re-commodification’, ‘cost-containment’ or ‘recalibration’.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Aysan M. F. and Beaujot R. (2009) ‘Welfare regimes for aging populations: no single path for reform’, Population and Development Review, 35, 4, 701–20.
Béland D. and Myles J. (2005) ‘Stasis amidst change: Canadian pension reform in an age of retrenchment’, in Bonoli G. and Shinkawa T. (eds.), Ageing and Pension Reform around the World: Evidence from Eleven Countries, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 252–73.
Bozio A., Crawford R. and Tetlow G. (2010) The History of State Pensions in the UK: 1948 to 2010, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Bridgen P. and Meyer T. (2007) ‘The British pension system and social inclusion’, in Meyer T., Bridgen P. and Riedmuller B. (eds.), Private Pensions Versus Social Inclusion? Non-State Provision for Citizens at Risk in Europe, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 4778.
Castles F. G. (ed.) (1993) Families of Nations: Patterns of Public Policy in Western Democracies, Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing Company.
Castles F. G. (2004) The Future of the Welfare State: Crisis Myths and Crisis Realities, New York: Oxford University Press.
Cates J. R. (1983) Insuring Inequality: Administrative Leadership in Social Security, 1935–54, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Curry B. and Chase S. (2012) ‘Conservative's budget to reset retirement at 67’, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/conservatives-budget-to-reset-retirement-at-age-67/article2385085/ [accessed 28.05.2012].
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (2007) The Pensioners’ Incomes Series 2005/6 (Revised), London: Department for Work and Pensions.
Department for Work and Pensions (2008) ‘Projections of entitlement to income related benefits to 2050’, http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/projections-of-entitlement-toincomerelatedbenefitsjune2008.pdf [accessed 28.05.2012].
Department for Work and Pensions (2011) A State Pension for the 21st Century, Green Paper CM 8053, London: Department for Work and Pensions.
Elder T. E. and Powers E. T. (2006) ‘The incredible shrinking program’, Research on Aging, 28, 3, 341–58.
Esping-Andersen G. (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Esping-Andersen G. (1999) Social Foundations of Postindustrial Societies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ginn J. (2003) Gender, Pensions and the Lifecourse: How Pensions Need to Adapt to Changing Family Forms, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Hacker J. S. (2006) The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement and How You Can Fight Back, New York: Oxford University Press.
Harrington Meyer (forthcoming) ‘Changing social security in the US: rising insecurity?’, Social Policy and Society.
Harrington Meyer M. and Herd P. (2007) Market Friendly or Family Friendly?: The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Hudson J. and Lowe S. (2004) Understanding the Policy Process: Analysing Welfare Policy and Practice, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Lain D. (2009) ‘Healthy, wealthy and wise? Working past age 65 in the UK and USA’, unpublished D.Phil. thesis, Brighton: University of Sussex.
Lain D. (2011) ‘Helping the poorest help themselves? Encouraging employment past 65 in England and the USA’, Journal of Social Policy, 40, 3, 493512.
Lightman E. S. and Riches G. (2009) ‘Canada: one step forward, two steps back’, in Alcock P. and Craig G. (eds.), International Social Policy, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 4565.
Myles J. (1998) ‘How to design a “Liberal” welfare state: a comparison of Canada and the United States’, Social Policy and Administration, 32, 4, 341–64.
Myles J. and Pierson P. (2001) ‘The comparative political economy of pension reform’, in Pierson P. (ed.), The New Politics of the Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 305–33.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2003) The Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries, Paris: OECD.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2009) Pensions at a Glance, Paris: OECD.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2011) Pensions at a Glance, Paris: OECD.
Overbye E. (1997) ‘Mainstream pattern, deviant cases: the New Zealand and Danish pension systems in an international context’, Journal of European Social Policy, 7, 2, 101–17.
Palier B. (2007) ‘Tracking the evolution of a single instrument can reveal profound changes: the case of funded pensions in France’, Governance, 20, 1, 85107.
Pampel F. C. (1998) Aging, Social Inequality, and Public Policy, Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Pensions Commission (2004) Pensions: Challenges and Choices, The First Report of the Pensions Commission, Norwich: The Stationery Office.
Pensions Commission (2005) A New Pension Settlement for the Twenty-First Century, The Second Report of the Pensions Commission, Norwich: The Stationery Office.
Pierson P. (1994) Dismantling the Welfare State?: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Politics of Retrenchment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pierson P. (2001) ‘Coping with permanent austerity: welfare state restructuring in affluent democracies’, in Pierson P. (ed.), The New Politics of the Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 410–56.
Price D. (2007) ‘Closing the gender gap in retirement income: what difference will recent UK pension reforms make?’, Journal of Social Policy, 36, 4, 561–83.
Rashbrooke G. (2009) ‘Simple, effective and (relatively) inexpensive: New Zealand retirement provision in the international context’, Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, 36, 97110.
Rimlinger G. V. (1971) Welfare Policy and Industrialization in Europe, America and Russia, New York: Wiley.
Rowlingson K. (2002) ‘Private pension planning: the rhetoric of responsibility, the reality of insecurity’, Journal of Social Policy, 31, 4, 623–42.
St John S. and Gran B. (2001) ‘The world's social laboratory: women friendly aspects of New Zealand pensions’, in Ginn J., Street D. and Arber S. (eds.), Women, Work and Pensions, Buckingham: Open University Press, pp. 199215.
Waine B. (2009) ‘New labour and pensions reform: security in retirement?’, Social Policy and Administration, 43, 7, 754–71.
Weaver R. K. (2005) ‘Public pension reform in the United States’, in Bonoli G. and Shinkawa T. (eds.), Ageing and Pension Reform Around the World: Evidence from Eleven Countries, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 230–51.
Williamson J. B. and Pampel F. C. (1993) Old-Age Security in Comparative Perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 25 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 160 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.