The economic policy debate on the pension system’s reform process in Italy has been on the forefront for more than a decade, and an increase in the role of funded private pillars has been often suggested. In this paper we focus on a specific way for enlarging such pillars: the partial opting out proposal, i.e. the chance for individuals to voluntarily devolve part of the contribution due to «pay as you go» public schemes to funded private ones. We argue that, if enrolment in different pension schemes is significantly related to individuals’ socio-economic status, the introduction of opting out could result in population segmentation, weakening the social cohesion lying at the basis of a universal welfare state. We focus on the pension system of the UK, where voluntarily opting out from public second pillar towards private pension funds has been possible since the mid 1980s, and we study by means of an econometric analysis if the choice of pension enrolment of British workers are significantly related to their socio-economic status.
Keywords: sistemi e riforme previdenziali, opting out, welfare state, Regno Unito