‘Thatcher’s Pension Reforms and Their Consequences’ is an AHRC-funded project at the University of Bristol which is researching the reforms to Britain’s pension system implemented by the Conservatives in the 1980s. At the heart of the reforms, and of the debates out of which they emerged, was a vigorous battle between ideas, interests, and institutions. The the project is teasing apart the details of that battle and examining the compromises that were forced in the implementation of policy; and the legacy of the policy changes (both intended and unintended) that resulted. As social science historians we intend that the research will be inter-disciplinary, engaging with political science, social policy, and welfare economics.
The project is contemporary history research at its leading-edge: taking advantage of the transition to a 20-year rule for the release of government papers and mining a rich seam of primary material in other archives, in contemporary publications, and via oral history.
The project started work in October 2014 and will complete its research in 2018.