First published in 1997, this report examines the classic social policy question of whether pensions should be paid only to those with relatively few other resources, so that scarce funds go to the people who need them most, or whether it is more just, and pensions are more willingly funded, when everyone can expect to get one in their turn.
Since the 1980s, the scale of social expenditure has come into question in most advanced industrial nations. The large shar of this expenditure devoted to the support of the aged, amidst growing numbers of old and very old people, has put age pensions at the centre of this discussion.
Sheila Shaver examines this classic question in a comparative analysis of income support in six countries, drawing on data from the Luxembourg Income Study and the International Social Survey Programme. The statistical studies are embedded in a discussion of social policy and citizenship; need, poverty and social cohesion; and the structure and restructuring of welfare states.
Table of Contents
1. Universality and Selectivity: a Review of the Issues. 2. Universality and Selectivity in Income Support to the Aged. 3. Outcomes of Universality and Selectivity in the Incomes of the Aged. 4. Universality, Selectivity and Public Attitudes Towards Income Support for the Aged. George Matheson. 5. The Australian Age Pension: Has Targeting Gone Too Far? 6. Conclusion.
Sheila Shaver- Professor of Social Policy, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia