THE FOUR PILLARS
Research on Social Security, Insurance and Retirement

 

(Research Program on Social Security, Insurance, Savings and Employment) was initiated in 1985, providing information on research and publications in this area.

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The Concept

In 1987, The Geneva Association launched its "Four Pillars" Research Programme in an attempt to bring some solutions to the issue of the future financing of pensions and more generally of financing social security in our post-industrial society.

The concept of the Four Pillars owes its origin to the fact that in most countries the funding of pensions is from resources drawn from three pillars the 1st pillar is the compulsory state pension, based on the pay-as-you-go principle; the 2nd pillar is the supplementary occupational pension, normally based on funding; the 3rd pillar is made up of individual savings (personal pensions, personal assets and life insurance).

As our publications show, we have advocated a strengthening of the second pillar based on funding and a further development of 3rd pillar resources. Our attention has, however, focused above all on the need in future years for a flexible extension of working-life, mainly on a part-time basis, in order to supplement the income of the existing three pillars.

This reorganisation of end-of-career and the new age-management strategy it implies - in which gradual retirement is destined to play a key role - also corresponds to many of the changes (in quality of work, life cycle, etc) which are specific to our contemporary service economies. The 4th pillar, then, forms part of the Geneva Association's more general theory that an aging population, rather than a problem, can constitute a positive challenge for our firms, communities and individuals.

Over recent years, research has been led with the cooperation of experts from various countries (UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, USA, Nordic countries) in the field of the future financing of pensions, and more generally of social security, and on end-of-career management., mainly for the long-term the idea of a flexible extension of working life and, for short- and medium-term, of gradual retirement in firms and in legislation.

Coordinator: Geneviève Reday-Mulvey, social economist, The Geneva Association, 53 Route de Malagnou CH-1208 Geneva, Tel. +41 22 707 66 00, Fax. +41 22 736 75 36
email:
genevieve_reday@genevaassociation.org

© Copyright 2005. The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics.