Chapter 8: The Legitimacy of Public Pensions in an Ageing Europe: Changes in Subjective Evaluations and Policy Preferences, 2008–2016
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This chapter examines people’s evaluations of and preference for pension provision, and how these might be influenced by significant ongoing pension reforms, such as increases in the retirement age. The chapter explores public attitudes towards retirement income for the elderly and how these attitudes changed across 17 European countries between 2008 and 2016. To better understand how pension reform affects individual pension reform preferences, the chapter first explores how the evaluation of pensioners’ living standards has changed over time. In a second step, the analysis examines whether changes in the subjective evaluation of pension income are related to altered preferences concerning pension reform. Do people continue to see the government as being responsible for the elderly, and to what extent do people’s preferences vary in line with the (actual and perceived) standard of living of pensioners?

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