The risk of poverty in old age entails the problems of financing and receiving an adequate pension. Some of the risks are determined by factors which may be influenced by individuals, and which have to be seen in the context of ability and willingness to save part of their earnings of self-employed people. The other group of factors, which determine the risk of old age poverty, cannot be influenced by individual action or behaviour. These factors include the institutional and legal framework and developments in capital markets. Here the stability and security of the entitlements, the replacement rate, and the adjustment of pensions during retirement to maintain once living standard pose special problems to avoid poverty in old age.
Dieter Bögenhold and Uwe Fachinger
Business ownership and self-employment are increasing dramatically among women, raising the question of motives behind this development. Is it driven by necessity, or does it reflect new modes of labour market integration and a strategy for women to achieve a better work–life balance? Combining conceptual thoughts with the exploitation of German Microcensus data over the period 1989–2009, Dieter Bögenhold and Uwe Fachinger explore the possible influence of personal, household and labour market characteristics in a family context on the probability of being self-employed. The labour market integration of women through self-employment appears highly contextual, with the occurrence of multiple factors related to the family life.
Uwe Fachinger and Anna Frankus
The development of self-employment may be interpreted as the result of structural reform policy aimed at labour market flexibility and economic prosperity. Contrastingly, it may also correspond to the outcome of a poor economic situation, with people becoming self-employed out of the need to earn a living. What then will be their situation at retirement age as they depend highly on private provisions? With a focus on solo self-employment, Uwe Fachinger and Anna Frankus use data from the German Microcensus for 1989–2009 to study the ability and willingness of people to save money for old-age provision. Their results emphasize what would be a growing poverty risk, calling for overall attention and policy response.