This study examines the United Kingdom's retirement income security system from the American perspective. It addresses issues that most concern U.S. analysts: how the United Kingdom has kept its future public pension costs at a manageable level, the extent to which privatization of public pensions has contributed to these savings, the popular appeal of individual pension accounts, and the impact of privatization on retirement income. These issues are best understood in the context of the U.K. pension program's particular institutional structure and policies, two of which-"contracting out" of public pensions and strong reliance on means-tested benefits-have been largely rejected in the evolution of U.S. policy to date.
Particular use is made of recently available data on coverage rates for public and private pension programs over the total working population and administrative records on inactive personal pension accounts.
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