Pensions and inequality: Mind the gap?

Pensions and Inequality

The romanticised view of retirement is one of long walks on the beach and living happily ever after. Unfortunately, the changing structure of pensions systems may mean that this dream will become a reality only for the privileged few.

Pensions are becoming less secure. As these systems evolve away from employer-sponsored plans to individual savings schemes, risk is increasingly transferred from corporates to their employees. This is ultimately to the benefit of the shareholders of those corporates. Additionally, incentives to save for retirement are skewed towards higher income earners. Further still, pension investments often benefit directly or indirectly from structures that reinforce inequality, to the detriment of workers in developing countries.

Ultimately, pension systems are developing in a way which increases inequality, both within and between countries. Intentional or not, seemingly common sense policies enacted today may have some dramatic impacts on the future global distribution of income and wealth.

Continue reading “Pensions and inequality: Mind the gap?”

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Pensions and inequality: Mind the gap?

Poverty and inequality: Views from two Swiss investment banks

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Inequality was high on the agenda at the World Economic Forum at Davos last week. The world’s richest and most powerful are finally starting to pay more attention to the issue. In this post, I look at how two Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, have discussed poverty and inequality in their recent publications. It is commendable that both banks have felt compelled to educate their mainly rich customers on the latest ideas and research on such an important topic.

However, in the case of UBS, their report raises many additional questions about how the rich see and understand poverty, in addition to the role that they feel they can play in combating it. Most concerning are some of the “findings” and “recommendations” which are likely to reinforce the status quo…

Continue reading “Poverty and inequality: Views from two Swiss investment banks”

Poverty and inequality: Views from two Swiss investment banks