Restructuring social protection: investment, regulation, and financialization of UK pensions

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis examines and compares the investment regulations of three types of pension schemes in the UK pension system, and their broader outcomes for the protection of scheme members. It advances our understanding of the expansion and continuation of financialization in the area of pensions, and the role of investment regulation in this process. It conceptualizes pension financialization process as being at the intersection of contradictory institutional rationales: return-maximization and social protection; and investigates regulatory and pension scheme responses to this tension. The regulatory framework of the state, occupational defined-benefit, and workplace personal defined-contribution is assessed, and juxtaposed against critical case study sites - the national insurance scheme; the universities superannuation scheme; and group personal pensions offered by six leading providers in the UK pension market -, before comparing them. The findings are based on detailed documentary analysis of 117 regulatory, internal, and media documents, and a few informant elite interviews.
Date of Award2 Dec 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorBryn Jones (Supervisor) & Theodoros Papadopoulos (Supervisor)

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