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Pension reforms and saving for retirement: comparing the United Kingdom and Italy

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Increasing longevity and falling fertility rates have prompted European policymakers to shift the responsibility for retirement funding to individuals. Governments, independently of their political ideologies, are committed to sustainable pension systems by encouraging private saving for retirement. This article uses a quantitative approach to investigate individual saving behaviour in Italy and in the UK and present evidence of the factors determining saving for retirement in the two countries. We question whether differences in pension policies and attitudes are accentuated or lessened by common demographic and social factors and examine the possibility of cross-national saving policies. Our analysis suggests that cohorts identified by homogeneous demographic features present converging perceptions across both countries, by acknowledging the need to save for retirement and the insecurity of future state pensions. However, our findings also show that English respondents make use of private saving for their retirement significantly more than their Italian counterparts.
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Keywords: pension reforms; quantitative analysis; retirement funding; saving behaviour

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Finance and Business Law, Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, London, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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