“Risk” is a word that has become common currency in the financial services industry in general, and in the pensions industry in particular. This article critically examines its use in the context of the current debate about UK pension reform. “Risk” is used by a broad spectrum of interests to discuss a wide range of pension issues in a variety of contexts. The article outlines key theoretical perspectives on the nature and construction, or conceptualization, of risk. Their relevance to debate and policy initiatives, particularly public pension policy, is examined. It is suggested that current government policy is failing to carry with it those to whom the policy applies; that reforms implicitly, if not explicitly, underestimate the importance of “security”; and that failure to conduct a much broader debate about the fundamental notions of work, retirement, saving and security may simply condemn the UK to interminable pension reform.
- pension reform
- pension policy