Britain: Exhausted Voluntarism – The Evolution of a Hybrid Pension Regime

Paul Bridgen and Traute Meyer

in The Varieties of Pension Governance

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586028
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725586 | DOI:
Britain: Exhausted Voluntarism – The Evolution of a Hybrid Pension Regime

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The British pension system with a meagre basic pension in the Beveridge tradition and coexisting private pensions that have increasingly been transformed from defined-benefit (DB) to defined-contribution (DC) pensions has generally been viewed as consistent with the liberal welfare and production regime types. While this classification is appropriate for some elements, from the 1950s onwards a strong statist side was expressed through the role of the state as employer and as regulator, with important consequences for the scale of state provision and the coverage and governance of occupational provision. The dynamics set in place by these arrangements lie behind recent pension reforms. These serve to enhance the hybrid pension system, moving it in a clearly more social democratic direction. However, the financial crisis and the change of government in 2010 mean that this movement might now be halted even before it had really begun.

Keywords: Great Britain; Beveridge basic pension; pension reform; liberal welfare regime; occupational pensions; defined-contribution pensions; financial crisis; pension fund governance

Chapter.  12073 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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