Population ageing and the resulting pressures on existing pension systems constitutes one of the most important challenges modern societies will have to face over the coming decades. Although governments have responded to such pressures by adopting a plethora of pension reforms, the adaptation process is far from over. This book comprehensively documents developments in pension policy in eleven advanced industrial countries in Western Europe, East Asia and North America. In order to explore what population ageing means for the sustainability of pension systems, the authors present a detailed review of pension policy making over the past two decades and provide up-to-date analysis of current pension legislation. They examine the factors that can facilitate or impede the adaptation of pension systems and the features that shape and determine reforms. They also highlight the fact that although the path of reform taken by each country is somewhat different, the processes at work are often very similar. Ageing populations throughout the world are extremely reluctant to see their pension systems dismantled and are therefore prepared to mobilise in their defence.
This process of mobilisation interacts with demographic pressures and institutional constraints to help determine the future direction of pension policy. The breadth of geographic coverage provides an almost global picture of the impact of ageing on pension reform, at least in terms of high income countries. Academics and students with an interest in economics, social policy, sociology and political science will find this a worthwhile and rewarding volume. It will also be of value to policymakers interested in how the problem of unsustainable pension systems can be resolved.