Pension Reforms in Italy and in the Southern Europe: Changes and Persistent Strains
The article sheds light on the last two decades of pension reforms in Italy and the other Southern-European countries: Greece, Portugal, and Spain. The analysis rests on three dimensions: the transformation from single to multi-pillar systems; rule harmonisation among social and occupational groups; and cost-containment. As far as the reforms’ path, all the countries under scrutiny underwent reforms in order to: increase the role of supplementary pensions; reduce inequalities among pension schemes; contain present and – especially – future public spending. Looking beyond this common trend, implementation substantially varies across countries in all the three dimensions. As far as the reform’s outcome, notwithstanding the measures mentioned above, the interaction between policies and their socio-economic context saw enduring tensions, such as persisting inequalities, risk individualisation, and systemic vulnerability to external shocks.
Keywords: Pensions; Southern Europe; Austerity