France: Promoting Funded Pensions in Bismarckian Corporatism?

Marek Naczyk and Bruno Palier

in The Varieties of Pension Governance

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586028
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725586 | DOI:
France: Promoting Funded Pensions in Bismarckian Corporatism?

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Following the Bismarckian social insurance tradition, the post-war pension system of France has been characterized by occupational fragmentation, its strong reliance on pay-as-you-go financing, and by the direct involvement of employers and trade unions in their management. Generous benefits offered a combination of statutory public pension and mandatory occupational pensions, initially crowding out any funded private pensions. However, pension reforms that promoted retrenchment both in the two pay-as-you-go-financed statutory public and occupational pension schemes since the 1990s have resulted in the gradual development of funded private pensions. In recent years, the governance of mandatory occupational schemes has been harmonized and inequalities between different occupational categories have been reduced. While the regulatory framework governing voluntarily funded plans (both occupational and personal pensions) has been largely unified, access to these schemes remains mostly limited to high-skilled employees.

Keywords: France; Bismarckian social insurance; pension reform; pay-as-you-go financing; employers; trade unions; private pensions; pension fund governance

Chapter.  12162 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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