Policy Press


By Michael Hill


May 30, 2007

Page count

200 pages

Browse the series

Policy and Politics in the Twenty-First Century




198 x 129 mm


Policy Press

This book provides a much-needed introductory guide to the issues surrounding pension policy, not just in the UK but worldwide, and offers a critique of some of the dominant ideas and assumptions. Noting the intense debate that currently surrounds the subject, the book explores a wider view of the continuing issues about pension policy.

It draws attention to an ideological 'fault-line' running through pensions policy, between a dominant view of pensions as deferred earnings on the one hand and a view of them as providers of an adequate income to enable elderly people to participate fully in society on the other. It argues for more attention to that second perspective, as an aspect of the search for a satisfactory work/ life balance.

Critical of the many 'quick fix' approaches to the topic, the author attacks 'the demographic time bomb thesis' for its crude assumptions about the future burden of the old and exposes naïve assumptions about what can be achieved by pension funding.

This book offers an excellent analysis for the general reader and provides an authoritative supplementary text for courses in social policy.

Policy and Politics in the Twenty-First Century

This exciting series offers a guide through some of today's most hotly contested policy issues by distinguished leaders in the field. Each book untangles current policy debates, looking behind the rhetoric and spin to discover what is at the core of contemporary political agendas. Authors present their own perspectives and make recommendations for what could - or should - be our priorities for future policy reform.

"Michael Hill provides a much needed introductory guide to the issues surrounding pension policy... This is a very interesting assessment of the current pensions climate." Pensions World, July 2007.

"..clear and well-organised.." Citizen's Income Newsletter, 2008, Issue 2.

"Michael Hill's book tackles the often complex and confusing world of pensions in a clear and concise way. Helping wider society understand the pensions issue more fully can only help those of us who promote a more generous and inclusive state funded pension scheme. This book will do that, and it is timely to be bought and read now." Rodney Bickerstaffe, Former President, National Pensioners Convention

"Michael Hill nicely sets out the intersecting layers and peculiarities of the UK pensions mixture. He challenges the myths and asks questions that policymakers and pension providers should be required to answer." Adrian Sinfield, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh

Michael Hill is Emeritus Professor of Newcastle University and currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton and Queen Mary College, University of London.

Introduction: pension policy aims and pathways; UK pension policies: a historical account; Pension scheme adequacy; Alternative pension models; Pension age and retirement age; The alleged 'demographic time bomb'; Facing the future: the funding obsession; Pension reform.