We are all approaching retirement but what should we expect? For some, it is a happy prospect. Others approach retirement knowing they face hardship and social exclusion. Amid alarming predictions of a 'demographic time bomb', governments and the private pensions industry urge everyone to plan and save now, but admit that there are risks.
But will the pension funds deliver on their promises? Will the rich increasingly retire early but the poor work for longer? How reliable are state pension schemes? Do the USA, Sweden, or Australia have a 'better' approach to retirement pensions than the UK?
Approaching retirement tackles these and many other questions from a number of sociological perspectives. Using the idea of the social division of welfare as a template, different approaches to retirement pensions policy are assessed and their strengths and weaknesses clearly presented.
This book will be an invaluable resource for social science students at all levels and for those who teach them. Economists and pension practitioners will also find food for thought here.
Kirk Mann is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Leeds. He has written on a range of social policy topics with social exclusion and the social division of welfare recurring themes in his work.
Introduction; Social divisions, exclusion and retirement; Two versions of political economy: ease and plenty or immiseration and crisis?; Consumption, consumers and choice; Post-work and post-structuralism: first past the post?; Risk and post-traditional welfare; Looking (or put out) for greener grass? Some comparative measures of 'success'; Prophets, profits and uncertain conclusions.