Exploring a blind spot in comparative pension reform research : long-term trends in non-contributory pensions in EuropeExploring a blind spot in comparative pension reform research : long-term trends in non-contributory pensions in Europe
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy
International journal of social welfare. - Oxford
25(2016):2, p. 161-175
University of Antwerp
Over the past two decades, pension reforms have been high on the agenda of social policy makers in Europe. In many countries, these reforms have resulted in less generous public pensions. At the same time, minimum income protection for older adults has received attention from policy makers, but much less so from social policy researchers. Therefore, this study explored how benefit levels of non-contributory minimum income schemes for older adults evolved from 1992 to 2012 in 13 old EU member states. Building on two cross-national longitudinal datasets with comparative data on minimum income protection in Europe, the study shows that over the past 20 years, the erosion of the principal safety net of last resort for older persons has been limited. Moreover, a substantial number of European countries have pursued a deliberate policy of considerably increasing minimum income benefits.