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The Varieties of Pension GovernancePension Privatization in Europe$
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Bernhard Ebbinghaus

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199586028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586028.001.0001

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Germany: Departing from Bismarckian Public Pensions

Germany: Departing from Bismarckian Public Pensions

Chapter:
(p.119) 5 Germany: Departing from Bismarckian Public Pensions
Source:
The Varieties of Pension Governance
Author(s):

Bernhard Ebbinghaus (Contributor Webpage)

Mareike Gronwald

Tobias Wiß

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586028.003.0005

The chapter first reviews the emergence and change of the public–private pension mix in Germany, emphasizing the path-dependent but recent path-departing developments from the Bismarckian social insurance tradition. The politically contentious pension reforms of the 1990s and subsequent reforms in the 2000s followed a strategy of institutional layering by introducing a voluntary personal (‘Riester’) pension, while fostering coexisting occupational pensions. At the same time, the reforms of public pensions made voluntary private pensions necessary for status maintenance in old age. The second part analyses the structure and governance of occupational and personal pensions in Germany, highlighting the new instruments for the design of occupational pensions such as collective agreements and collective pension institutions self-administered by employers and trade unions. The chapter concludes with an outlook on the future, discussing potential scenarios for institutional change and its consequences for old age income in Germany.

Keywords:   Germany, Bismarckian social insurance, pension reform, occupational pensions, voluntary personal pensions, employers, trade unions, pension fund governance

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