Press release

Publication of DWP research report no. 663:Review of international pension reform

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Today, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) publishes an international review of private pension reform.

Today, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) publishes an international review of private pension reform. The review drew together evidence from eight countries that have implemented private pension reform, to inform the development of the UK workplace pension reforms.

The review comprised of a literature review and telephone interviews with pension experts in eight case study countries.  The literature review took place between April and June 2009 and the interviews took place in February 2010. The research was carried out on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by the Personal finance Research Centre (PfRC Ltd).

Case study countries featured in the review are Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Uruguay.

The Main findings are:

  • Among individuals, employers and the pension industry, attitudes towards pension reform were generally positive across the case study countries reviewed. 
  • Evidence from several of the case study countries indicated higher-than-anticipated voluntary participation among individuals who were not required to join. 
  • There is little indication that the costs and burdens of pension reform were a significant issue for employers.  However, since reforms have been implemented there have been concerns in some cases about the disproportionate cost and burden to small employers, though it is unclear how much evidence exists to support these concerns.
  • Among employers, levels of intentional non-compliance with new legislation have been low.
  • Some countries’ home pension markets seem to have been stimulated by an increase in private pension saving as a result of reforms.

  • An adequate communications strategy for individuals and employers appears key to the success of reform.

Notes to Editors:

  1. DWP Research Report No. 663- “Review of international pension reform” is published on 29th June 2010 by Corporate Document Services. The research was conducted on behalf of DWP by Sharon Collard and Nick Moore at the Personal Finance Research Centre (University of Bristol)
  2. The full report and summary is available to download from the DWP website http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5
  3. The research involved a rapid evidence assessment and telephone interviews with pension experts in eight case study countries.