Panel on Financial Governance of Funded Pension Schemes at CES Conference

The DEEPEN team will present new findings from their research on the governance of funded pension schemes during this year’s Council for European Studies conference in Lisbon. Organized by Hayley James, the DEEPEN panel will take place on Wednesday, June 29 at 4pm. With papers from all four country teams, the DEEPEN panel will present a number of comparative analyses that shed light on the meso-level processes that mediate the link between retirement provisions and financial markets across European countries.

Karen Anderson, Juan J. Fernández and Tobias Wiss are presenting “When is the Pension Issue Salient? A Cross-national Analysis of 28 European countries, 2002-2020”: Using a novel dataset that merges 41 Eurobarometers conducted in 2002-2020, the paper provides a preliminary analysis of the factors driving perceptions that the pension issue is salient for the country in 28 European countries. The analysis focuses on country conditions, assessing if average pension generosity and public and private pension coverage influence this perception.

Tobias Wiß and Thomas Mayer are presenting “Variation in democratic legitimacy of occupational pensions”: Hypothesizing that democratic legitimacy increases with the importance and the degree of compulsion of occupational pensions, the paper compares voluntary occupational pension schemes in Austria, Spain and Ireland with quasi-mandatory schemes in the Netherlands and Denmark. Germany serves as a test case as occupational pensions are voluntary, but recent reforms increased their importance and coverage rates (e.g. individual entitlement to occupational pension plans).

Philipp Golka and Natascha van der Zwan are presenting “Translating democracy into finance? Pension funds and the role of member preferences for investment decisions”:Based on qualitative interviews, the paper compares how pension funds in the Netherlands use different forms of participatory governance to translate member voice into financial investments. In particular, the paper investigates pension funds’ power as they are positioned in between members and powerful asset managers and financial consultants.

Hayley James and Karen Anderson are presenting “Comparing welfare markets in Denmark, the UK and Ireland: understanding the dynamics of defined contribution workplace pension schemes”: the paper compares countries which have predominant DC coverage embedded in very different market structures, drawing on case studies of DC workplace pension schemes. The paper examines the dynamics that shape the operation of the DC pension schemes in each of these countries and demonstrates that understanding the configuration of welfare markets is key to understanding the implications of financialisation.

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