The Governance and Regulation of Private Pensions in Europe

Bernhard Ebbinghaus and Tobias Wiß

in The Varieties of Pension Governance

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586028
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725586 | DOI:
The Governance and Regulation of Private Pensions in Europe

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This comparative chapter by Ebbinghaus and Wiß analyses the governance of supplementary pensions in ten European countries and the scope for state intervention or collective regulation by employers and trade unions. Private occupational and personal pensions combine different features in terms of coverage, benefits, funding rules, supervision, and administration. While the state partially retreated from the public responsibility to finance sufficient and adequate pensions, the need for and importance of state regulation and societal control of private pensions increased. Societal actors like trade unions, employers' associations, and financial services became more important in governing pension systems. Since the pension beneficiaries rely as principals on agents with more financial knowledge, regulation should decrease asymmetric information and limit uneven power distribution. The more pensions are privatized and funded, the more a financial crisis can increase risks for old age income security.

Keywords: Europe; multipillar pension systems; pension fund governance; principal–agent relations; defined-benefit pensions; defined-contribution pensions; financial crisis; privatization; employers; trade unions

Chapter.  13478 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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