The Role of Trade Unions in Pension Policy-Making and Private Pension Governance in Europe

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Humanities LT G255 (University of Glasgow)
Bernhard Ebbinghaus , Sociology, University of Mannheim
The paper discusses the changing role of trade unions in policy-making and implementation in the area of public and private pensions in several European countries, thereby covering Bismarckian corporatist social insurance (France, Italy and Germany) and the Beveridge-type multipillar pension model (the Netherlands, UK, Poland, Finland and Sweden). The paper analyzes the organizational, bargaining and electoral power of labour vis-à-vis employers and the state. Thereafter, it reviews the different influence channels for trade unions in policy-making and implementation in the public pension area. The paper discusses in particular recent efforts to reverse early retirement and increase statutory retirement age. In the empirical section in the second part of the paper, it looks more closely at the role of unions in supplementary private pensions, highlighting the important difference between mature and newly created multipillar pension systems. As its conclusion, the variations in public-private pension mix and their implications for the different roles of trade unions are discussed.
  • EBBINGHAUS_CES_Glasgow_Paper_2017.pdf (231.6 kB)