The Changing Nature of Work and Public Pension Coverage: Evidence from the US and Europe
We examine non-standard work and its impact on pension coverage via a case study of the US, the UK, and Germany. We find that the share of workers engaged in non-standard work has changed only modestly over time in these three countries, despite the popular perception that a more significant transformation in the nature of work may be underway. We discuss how non-standard work may affect public pension coverage, as both the pension rules and the level of actual and reported earnings of workers engaged in non-standard work can differ from those of workers engaged in standard work. We find that workers who spent much of their career in self-employment (one type of non-standard work) have higher levels of financial distress in retirement and rely more on financial assets outside the public pension system.