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.