And they all lived happily ever after? Exploring the possibilities of mobilising the internet to promote a more enabling accounting for occupational pension schemes

Catriona Paisey, Nicholas J. Paisey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    32 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which pension accounting represents an enabling or emancipatory accounting. Design/methodology/approach - Many countries are facing a so-called "pensions crisis" which is reflected in and arguably, to some extent at least, is precipitated by accounting. Occupational pensions in the UK are focused upon and their role in the pension crisis discussed. The enabling or emancipatory potential of the internet for accounting for occupational pension schemes is explored. The contents of the web sites of the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (FTSE 100) are examined in terms of the elements of an enabling accounting, as set out by Gallhofer and Haslam in 1997. Alternative forms of accounting for pensions, including accounts by trade unions and others, are also examined. Findings - The full possibilities of the internet have not yet been mobilised in respect of accounting for occupational pension schemes and companies' actions appear to be driven by the hegemony of the market rather than a concern for the social wellbeing of pensioners. A number of inequalities are evident. Research limitations/implications - The majority of UK employees have no occupational pension. The paper therefore only addresses one aspect of the pension crisis. Practical implications - Suggests how corporate web sites could be improved through the provision of dedicated pensions sections and increased pensions' disclosures. Argues that alternative accounts provided by trade unions, organisations associated with the elderly and others are required to provide counter accounts. Calls for more education about the importance of saving from an early age. Originality/value - Applies elements of an enabling accounting to a specific accounting problem, accounting for pensions. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)719-758
    Number of pages40
    JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
    Volume19
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Keywords

    • Accounting information
    • Education
    • Internet
    • Pension funds
    • Pensions
    • Social responsibility

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