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Valuing older peopleA humanist approach to ageing$
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Ricca Edmondson and Hans-Joachim Von Kondratowitz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847422927

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847422927.001.0001

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Pension systems and the challenge of population ageing: what does the public think?

Pension systems and the challenge of population ageing: what does the public think?

(p.139) Eight Pension systems and the challenge of population ageing: what does the public think?
Valuing older people

Dina Frommert

Dirk Hofäcker

Thorsten Heien

Hans-Jürgen Andreß

Policy Press

The increasing old-age dependency ratio produces a major financial challenge for pension systems, and this development may place an unsustainable financial burden on the active population, adversely affecting Europe's economic growth. The future sustainability of pension systems in Europe is not endangered by demographic ageing alone. Most western industrialised countries have experienced augmented withdrawal of older workers from the labour market, thereby sustaining the financial pressure on contemporary pension systems. This chapter illustrates in detail possible policy solutions for reform. It illustrates how European welfare states have adjusted their pension systems very differently to the growing imbalance between contributors and recipients. While debate about pension privatisation is increasingly dominating public discourse, there remains large cross-national variation in Europe regarding the actual existence and extent of non-public pension components. Significant cross-country differences also exist regarding the extent to which European countries have been (and still are) affected by (structural) unemployment.

Keywords:   pension systems, financial burden, Europe, demographic ageing, labour market, industrialised countries

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