Knowledge mobilisation PENSINEQ project

Policy round table “ How to integrate life expectancy differences in the design of pensions systems?

Is reducing life expectancy inequalities in the design of pension relevant, possible and acceptable?

This research project has improved our knowledge of differences in life expectancy by comparing data from five countries (Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, UK).

In these five countries, life expectancy is closely related to individual or household income. There are large differences between men and women.

For several decades, due to the average increase in longevity, policymakers have been facing a major financial problem. In most cases, this has led them to decide to increase the retirement age. But can this kind of decision disadvantage a part of the population?

In this final round table, three key members of the administration in charge of pensions – Cathy Payne (UK) Ole Settergren (SWE) Franck von Lennep (FR) – and an academic discussant who has worked on the effects of previous pensions reform in several countries in Europe – Johannes Spinnewijn (London School of Economics) – were asked if it is relevant, technically possible and politically feasible to include this issue of life expectancy in the design of their national pension system.

They were also asked whether this issue had been debated in the previous reform. Opinions were divided.

Unequalageing: life-expectancy, care needs and reforms to the welfare state

This final conference consisted of two sessions in which partners of each country have presented their
findings and challenged them with discussants and the audience, and a final round table with high-level policy makers.

Selected people were invited, particularly French people working on pensions in France (DREES, INSEE, AGIRC ARRCO, Caisse des dépôts) and individuals working in international organisations (OECD). 75 people had registered for the conference. 70 actually attended. Each paper presented during the conference was discussed by an external discussant chosen among high academic profiles.

The first part of the conference dealt with life-expectancy inequality and pension reforms.

The second part dealt with health inequality and long-term care.

The third part dealt with policy implications for pension design of life-expectancy differential.

Work presented during the conference consisted of academic work carried out during the PENSINEQ project. Discussions by external high profile researchers will be integrated into the corresponding academic papers that will then be submitted to international peer reviewed journals.

All working papers and publications will be made available on the IPP website. As well as a synthesis of the round table.