Public Policy and Social Welfare
June 1, 2008
Great strides towards rising human longevity in recent times pose new challenges to policy-makers worldwide, particularly in maintaining the financial sustainability of old age pension systems. Individuals in their own financial planning for retirement also face critical challenges: they need to safeguard against risks of falling into poverty during an increasing longer duration of retirement. To this end, this book provides new insights into how with ageing factors such as ill health and disability become ever more important in determining the personal well-being of older people, and these factors have financial implications not captured by an analysis of pension income alone.
Another important policy implication arising from this book is the extent to which people are exposed to income risks in their retirement. While individuals and governments already safeguard against such hazards, this research shows that these measures will need to be strengthened further in light of the increasingly longer time spent in the post-retirement phase of life and in view of greater reliance by retirees on diverse and potentially volatile sources of income.
The empirical work reported also highlights the importance of cross-national research on income dynamics during retirement: the results provide important pointers towards how different social security systems affect the income risks associated with various attributes and life-course transitions experienced while ageing.