Is it Possible to Avoid Gender Discrimination in Employment Pension Plans and Funds?

By Miryam de la Concepción GONZALEZ-RABANAL.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

For some time now, one of the most recurrent worries for both legislators and politicians is preventing gender discrimination in every sphere of life, but especially in job related matters. Many are the regulations that have been enacted in different contexts over that regard. Thus, having taken into account the complementary role with which employment pension plans and funds were created as related to the public pension systems, we have found it particularly interesting to see the possibility of avoiding gender discrimination in their formulation. In order to accomplish this, we have analyzed the different possible options, that is, defined contribution or defined benefits and, within these two, we have made a distinction between those whose benefits are totally guaranteed and those that are not, and we have studied the possible discriminatory effects that would result from either requiring employment within the same survival table for both genders or from allowing the use of separate tables for each one. The conclusion is straightforward: discrimination is only avoided when employment pension plans consist in defined contribution and the benefit is drawn as income capital, or when pension plans are absolutely guaranteed and same tables for both genders are applied. The rest of the options generate discrimination so, in order to avoid it, authorities will have to plan measures ahead to compensate the employer for not penalizing his hiring of women. Therefore, the issue on equal treatment between men and women as regards complementary pensions has not been resolved yet, since such equality does not only depend on the enacted regulations, but also on the very functioning of pension regimes in and of themselves.

Keywords: Gender, Discrimination, Pension Plans, Men, Women, Law, Benefits

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 8, pp.113-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 781.416KB).

Dr. Miryam de la Concepción GONZALEZ-RABANAL

Professor, Department of Applied Economics and Public Management, UNED, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain

Bachelor (with honors) and Doctor of Laws by the University of Salamanca, Bachelor of Economic Science and Political Science by the Complutense University of Madrid, and holder of a Master’s degree in Public Management earned in this same University, she is a university professor in the Applied Economics and Public Management Department at UNED, which she has head since 2005. She is the author of over 12 books published by well renowned firms, and of over 60 articles that have appeared in magazines specialized in issues related with Welfare State, Public Economy, and Public Management. She has been the lead researcher in several competitive projects belonging to the Ministry of Labor, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, and the Ministry of Education and Science. She has also been an outside reader for several publications. Besides the above mentioned, she has held several management posts linked to university affairs. Right now she is the General Secretary of the International University Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP).

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