Protection of Accrued Pension Rights

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Protection of Accrued Pension Rights – An Inquiry into Reforms of Statutory and Occupational Pension Schemes in a German, Norwegian and Swedish Context

Nils Eliasson

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The need of pension reforms, both regarding statutory and occupational pension schemes, is frequently discussed in Europe. This has highlighted another issue; what kind of protection do accrued pension rights enjoy when the pension scheme is reformed? Protection of Accrued Pension Rights is an inquiry into pension reforms in statutory and occupational pension schemes in Germany, Norway and Sweden. The purpose with the inquiry is to determine what kind of protection accrued pension rights in the respective kinds of pension schemes enjoy and how the conflict between the interest to protect and different interests in reforming the scheme in question is resolved within the framework of this protection. This is an innovative and interesting approach since it cuts across the borderlines between private law and public law, thus encompasses several different fields of law. The book takes the reader through intricate issues of constitutional law, labour law and social insurance law as well as general private and public law. Property, contracts and legitimate expectations are the legal notions in focus, when the respective solutions to the protection of accrued pension rights are analysed.

Protection of Accrued Pension Rights, however, also contains an investigation on a more abstract level. The different solutions to the conflict between the interests to protect and the interests to reform are analysed in their societal and normative contexts. The public and constitutional law protections are compared with the private law protections in order to illustrate the difficulty in upholding the strict division between private law and public law in present society. By dissolving this division, solutions to the conflict between a protection of accrued pension rights and different interests to reform the pension schemes can be resolved on the basis of the actual content of these schemes in stead of according to the legal dogmatic systematisation of law.