Private pensions provision in the UK is in crisis, yet it is not the crisis often depicted in political and popular discourses. While population ageing has affected traditional pensions practice, the imperilment of UK pensions is due in fact to the peculiar way policy-makers have responded to wider social and economic change. Pensions are a mechanism for managing failed futures, yet this function is being impeded by the individualization of provision. This book offers a political economy perspective on the development of private pensions, focusing specifically on how policy elites have sought to respond to perceived crises of demographic change, under-saving, and fund deficits, and in doing so have absorbed imperatives to subject individuals to a market-led regime under the influence of neoliberal ideology. This terrain is explored through chapters on the historical and comparative context of UK pensions provision, the demise of collectivist provision, the rise of pensions individualization and the state's role as facilitator and regulator in this regard, and the financial and economic context in which pensions provision operates. By placing the UK system in a comparative context of pensions reform agendas across the world, this book offers an original understanding of the unique temporality and materiality of pensions provision as a set of mechanisms for coping with generational change and forecast failures in capitalist economies. It also presents a nuanced account of the extent to which the state acts to anchor the process of pensions rematerialization and, crucially, concludes by outlining a coherent and radical programme of progressive pensions reform.
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