Divisions within Business, Labor Mobilization and the (not so) Paradoxical De-Dualization of Belgian, British and French Occupational Pension Provision Since the 1980s

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
WMP Yudowitz Seminar Room 1 (University of Glasgow)
Marek Naczyk , Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford
Are business groups a protagonist of dualization in occupational pension provision? Historically, employers set up occupational pension schemes in order to retain their most skilled workers and to ensure labor quiescence within their companies. This led to significant dualisms in coverage of such plans. The politics of occupational pension provision entered a new path throughout much of Europe from the 1980s after existing occupational plans’ finances and capacity to offer income maintenance to retired workers came under increased scrutiny because of deindustrialization and population ageing. Faced with growing competition from financial services companies in the market for retirement provision and with pressures from organized labor to protect existing occupational pension plans, those – typically large industrial – companies that had historically spearheaded the creation of occupational plans decided to side with organized labor and consented to extend coverage of such plans to new segments of the workforce. The specific paths through which coverage of occupational plans was extended depended on the preexisting institutional design of domestic systems of occupational provision. The argument is supported with case studies of British, French, Belgian pension reform since the 1980s.