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Alan Walker and Liam Foster

This research review presents the most important and influential articles and papers on ageing and later life of the past half century. The authors examine policy creation and implementation, practice and critical gerontology including both feminist and international perspectives. This is a critical assembly of work and will be of immense assistance to anyone looking to understand the consequences of our ageing population on society.
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Alan Walker and Liam Foster

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Liam Foster and Alan Walker

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Alan Walker and Liam Foster

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Liam Foster and Jay Ginn

Pensioner poverty is not experienced equally by all groups, with women over-represented in pensioner poverty compared with their male counterparts. The gendered nature of poverty in older age reflects women’s constrained opportunities across the life course, including the unequal provision of care (inside and outside the household) and its impact on employment. The degree of gender inequality in later life reflects the extent to which pension systems address these diverse experiences and compensate for women’s relative disadvantage in the division of work and care. This chapter uses a life-course perspective to explore how gender differences in employment and earnings are reflected in lower asset accumulation and pension income. Initially, we outline why the life-course perspective assists our understanding of women’s economic disadvantage in retirement. We subsequently review gender differences in employment and family care provision, showing how the gender-biased design of state and private pension schemes is central to women’s higher levels of poverty in retirement in OECD countries. We show how the increasing dominance of neoliberalism has led to curtailment of welfare states and promotion of market pension schemes. Finally, we suggest the need for a greater recognition of women’s diverse life histories in policy measures to improve women’s financial independence in later life.

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Alan Walker and Liam Foster