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date: 06 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the main theoretical perspectives on the development of welfare states that more or less explicitly conceptualize the interests of particular social groups in retirement-income systems. The main capital–labour cleavage between the interests of employers and labour movements in such systems is juxtaposed. Then, several intra-class cleavages are presented. These conflicts influence and are reinforced by fragmented pension systems, in particular the difference between blue-collar and white-collar workers as well as that between the private and public sectors. Weaker labour-market groups, in particular the unemployed, and gender issues in retirement-income systems are discussed. The article also critically reviews often-voiced generational conflicts.

Keywords: pension reforms, interest groups, capital–labour cleavage, retirement income, blue-collar workers, generational conflicts

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