This book provides a much-needed introductory guide to the issues surrounding pension policy, not just in the UK but worldwide, and offers a critique of some of the dominant ideas and assumptions. Noting the intense debate that currently surrounds the subject, the book explores a wider view of the continuing issues about pension policy. It draws attention to an ideological 'fault-line' running through pensions policy, between a dominant view of pensions as deferred earnings on the one hand and a view of them as providers of an adequate income to enable elderly people to participate fully in society on the other. It argues for more attention to that second perspective, as an aspect of the search for a satisfactory work/ life balance. Critical of the many 'quick fix' approaches to the topic, the author attacks 'the demographic time bomb thesis' for its crude assumptions about the future burden of the old and exposes na ve assumptions about what can be achieved by pension funding. This book offers an excellent analysis for the general reader and provides an authoritative supplementary text for courses in social policy. Policy and Politics in the Twenty-First Century This exciting series offers a guide through some of today's most hotly contested policy issues by distinguished leaders in the field. Each book untangles current policy debates, looking behind the rhetoric and spin to discover what is at the core of contemporary political agendas. Authors present their own perspectives and make recommendations for what could - or should - be our priorities for future policy reform.