The traditional (final or average salary) pension that employers have provided their employees has suffered a huge decline in labor force coverage in the United Kingdom and the United States, and less severe declines in Canada and elsewhere. The traditional pension provides a precious measure of retirement security by paying retirees an annuity for life. This study compares developments in the countries just named and in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland to explain the forces behind the decline of the traditional pension and to contrast the experience of public sector employer-provided plans, where it remains dominant. Given the great value of the longevity insurance that the traditional plan provides, and the risks its diminished coverage entails, the book proposes a set of measures that either stem the decline or endow defined contribution pensions with some of the attributes of the traditional plan.
George A. (Sandy) Mackenzie is Strategic Policy Advisor in the Public Policy Institute of AARP in Washington, DC. A Rhodes Scholar, he spent 28 years with the International Monetary Fund (1978-2006) following a year of teaching and three years with the Canadian Department of Finance. Prior to joining the AARP Public Policy Institute, he was a lecturer at the University of California Washington Center. In addition to his book Annuity Markets and Pension Reform (Cambridge, 2006), Mr Mackenzie has published articles in the IMF Staff Papers, Public Finance/Finances Publiques, Finanzarchiv, the IMF Occasional Papers series, and Public Budgeting and Finance, and studies with the Public Policy Institute of California and AARP PPI.
Introduction; Part I: 1. The development of employer-provided pensions; 2. The economics of occupational/employer-provided pension plans; 3. Issues in funding and investing; 4. Regulatory issues; 5. Public sector employer-provided pensions and recent innovations in the first tier; Part II: 6. The causes of decline; 7. Policies to address the decline of the traditional pension; 8. Summary and conclusions; Appendix 1. Ten country profiles; Appendix 2. Mathematical treatments and derivations.