Risk shift

In parallel, there has been a widespread transfer of risk from both governments and employers to individuals. Many governments are reducing or have reduced state- supported pensions, and some are reducing healthcare benefits. Defined contribution pension plans are quickly replacing defined benefit pension plans, shifting onto workers the responsibility to save for their own financial security after retirement. Traditional pay- as-you-go (PAYG) pension schemes are supplemented by new schemes in which the individual is subject to both revenue and investment risks. Most surveys show that a majority of workers are unaware of the risks they now have to face, and do not have sufficient knowledge and skill to manage such risks adequately, even if they are aware of them (OECD, 2008). Furthermore, the array of demographic and financial risks that people have to face is increasing: and notably the risks associated with longevity and health, credit, financial markets volatility, as well as unemployment.

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