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This international comparison of pension plans lends great understanding to the transformation taking place in almost every nation around the world. It covers ten of the twelve countries of the European Union, as well as the United States and Japan. The project is interdisciplinary, covering a number of fields, such as economics, law, actuarial science, sociology, and political science, that contribute to the analysis of retirement income systems. The chapters vary in scope - some are comparative, some are restricted to a single country or to one type of plan in one country. Despite their diversity, the chapters share a common awareness of three aspects of pension plans: the importance of actors' roles in shaping each system, the different economic and social domains affected by retirement plans, and the interconnections between social security and supplementary plans.