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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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Denmark: The Silent Revolution towards a Multipillar Pension System

Denmark: The Silent Revolution towards a Multipillar Pension System

Chapter:
(p.183) 7 Denmark: The Silent Revolution towards a Multipillar Pension System
Source:
The Varieties of Pension Governance
Author(s):

Jørgen Goul Andersen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586028.003.0007

Denmark developed a multipillar pension system, adding private pensions to its universal flat-rate, tax-financed ‘people's pension’. Following the failure to introduce a public earnings-related supplementary pension, fully funded ‘labour market’ pensions were added through collective agreements between employers and trade unions, extending these occupational pensions to nearly all employment groups since the early 1990s. Comprehensive institutional change took place almost without any legislation by non-state actors, except for the reform of the public basic pension which became increasingly means-tested. Private pension governance is typically left to pension funds or to special life insurance companies jointly owned and controlled by unions and employers. Strict rules protect pension funds against financial shocks, but these were eased during the financial crisis to improve returns on these defined-contribution (DC) pensions. Nevertheless, the Danish pension system looks quite satisfactory from both an economic and social policy perspective.

Keywords:   Denmark, pension reform, basic pension, multipillar pension system, occupational pensions, defined-contribution pensions, employers, trade unions, pension fund governance, financial crisis

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