Reinforcement of pension financialisation as a response to financial crises in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

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Series Details Volume 26, Number 4, Pages 501-520
Publication Date April 2019
ISSN 1466-4429 (online)
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The financial market crises of 2001/02 and 2007/08 and the sovereign debt crisis that started in 2011 had adverse effects on financialised pensions such as pension funds. In general, moments of crises are major shocks to existing equilibriums and policies and open windows of opportunity for policy change. Did these crises trigger a slowdown or reversal of pension financialisation?

This article finds that Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom took similar steps along the pension financialisation path by intensifying the reliance of pension funds on financial markets despite the occurrence of three financial crises. The reinforcement of pension financialisation can be explained by the entrenched interests of several actors in finance, employers, the state, and trade unions, who have no interest in the collapse of pension funds.

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This article is part of a Special Issue of this Journal on 'The political economy of pension financialisation: public policy responses to the crisis'.

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