A comparative analysis of mandated private pension arrangements
Purpose – According to one influential set of arguments, the privatization of public pensions has been informed by neoliberalism, and has thus been an integral element of a broader program of welfare retrenchment, which is inconsistent with social cohesion. The paper aims to take issue with this negative characterization of pensions privatization. Design/methodology/approach – The argument is illustrated by a cross-national comparative analysis of the principal design features of 32 mandated private pension arrangements. Findings – The market orientation of mandated private pension arrangements is generally ambivalent. Whilst the architects of these arrangements have embraced market principles, they have also accepted the principle of collective responsibility for retirement futures. Research limitations/implications – While design is an important indicator of the nature of pension schemes, it does not translate automatically into retirement outcomes. Practical implications – Collective responsibility for retirement may be pursued through distinctive forms of privatization. Originality/value – In contrast to the central argument of much of the literature, the privatization of public pensions has not universally or unambiguously been informed by the tenets of neoliberal political economy.
Design, Pensions, Privatization, Responsibilities, Social policy
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