Economic crisis, older women workers, pensions, Ireland, gendered vulnerabilities, social citizenship
The recent economic crisis of 2008 and the fragility of government revenues sharply illuminated the contested nature of pension rights in Europe. The crisis intensified calls for an overhaul of pension systems across Europe including raising retirement age, increasing contribution years, auto-enrolment in occupational schemes, and changing tax relief on private pension contributions. However, the impact of the economic crisis and the implications of pension-policy changes are not the same for everyone: vulnerable groups, such as older women workers, are often ignored. Using a feminist political economy of ageing approach and a life-course perspective, we examine the impact of the economic crisis on the pension provision of older women workers in Ireland, where pension reforms have intensified since 2008. This research, which fills an important gap in Irish literature on pensions and provides insights to the European discourse on austerity and pensions, verifies that gendered vulnerability constrains women’s pension accumulation, thus undermining their social citizenship rights.