Researching women and pensions : empowerment and sharing 'expert' knowledge

Peggs, Kay (2000) Researching women and pensions : empowerment and sharing 'expert' knowledge. Research, Policy and Planning, 18(3), pp. 3-12. ISSN (print) 0264-519X


This paper examines an important methodological issue arising in my research on women and pensions. It discusses my experiences of being considered an expert in the field of pensions in interviews with 45 women who often sought advice on financial planning for retirement, whether pensions already chosen would provide the best financial rewards and, if not, the best pension option to take in the light of pension policy changes in the late 1980s. The paper does not present a stage-by-stage account of my study but is a reflexive account of the research process, focusing on issues concerning empowerment and information sharing. The discussion leads me to conclude that although the researcher is often in a position to provide essential information in areas of high complexity, ethical considerations about providing faulty information and the limits of the positive effects that information sharing might achieve must also be acknowledged.

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