War and Pensions: The Effects of War on Social Security and Pensions Around the World

  •  John A. Turner    
  •  David M. Rajnes    
  •  Gerard Hughes    
  •  Michelle Maher    


War has affected the development of social security and employer-provided pensions. Roman soldiers received the first pensions. In most countries, military pensions preceded social security pensions, providing countries experience with the concept and administration of pensions. War or the threat of war affected the development of the two major branches of social insurance-based pensions—Bismarckian (earnings related pensions developed in Germany) and Beveridgian (pensions tied to years of work developed in the United Kingdom). War has affected the choice countries make between funded and unfunded or pay-as-you-go pensions. The money in funded social security pensions can be expropriated to finance wars. Periods of hyperinflation following wars have destroyed funded social security pensions and funded employer-provided pensions in some countries. A victor country can have a major effect on the pensions in a defeated country. Social security pensions can be used to encourage national solidarity during and after wars. In the twenty-first century, social security pensions have been the target of cyber warfare.

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