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A Comparison of Pension Reform in the EU – 27: What Lessons Can Be Learned? The Cicero Foundation Paris, 10-11 May 2007 Mika Vidlund.

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Presentation on theme: "A Comparison of Pension Reform in the EU – 27: What Lessons Can Be Learned? The Cicero Foundation Paris, 10-11 May 2007 Mika Vidlund."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Comparison of Pension Reform in the EU – 27: What Lessons Can Be Learned? The Cicero Foundation Paris, 10-11 May 2007 Mika Vidlund

2 Structure of the presentation The need for pension reform – changing demographics Pension reforms applied in the EU countries How drastically do reforms affect the future pensions? Concluding remarks

3 The change in old-age dependency ratio (65+/15-64) in the EU countries Source: Eurostat 2005

4 The change in old-age dependency ratio (65+/15-64) and the situation in 2050 EU-25 average Source: Eurostat

5 Public pension expenditure as a share of GDP between 2004 and 2050 Source:EPC/AWG-calculations 2006

6 Public pension expenditure in the EU-25 countries in 2004 and in 2050, % of GDP Source: EPC/AWG-calculations 2006 EU-25 average

7 Risk categoryCountry Low-risk DK, EE, LV, LT, AT, PL, SK, FI, SE Medium-risk BE, DE, ES, FR, IE, IT, LU, MT, NL, UK High-riskCZ, EL, CY, HU, PT, SI Long-term (up to 2050) sustainability of public finances in the EU Source: European Commission 2006

8 Financial sustainability of public pension systems according to synthesis reports (2006 and 2003) No major challenges SE, UK EE, LV Moderate challenges FI, DK, DE, IT, FR, IRL, NL, AT LT, SK Important pressures BE PL, MT Significant challenges ES, PT, EL, LU CZ,CY, HU, SL well prepared SE, UK manageable FI, DK, BE, IRL, NL, LU, PT further reforms needed IT, DE …indeed needed EL, ES, FR, AT Joint Report 2003 Joint Report 2006

9 II: Pension reforms applied in the EU-27 countries

10 Not an easy task: reform of the pension systems Path-dependency - Institutional factors, structure of the pension system itself, is a decisive precondition to the way reforms are enacted - Pension systems are like elephants: large, grey, very popular but difficult to move (Hinrichs 2000) - Frozen welfare landscape (Esping-Andersen 1996) Continental/Corporatist welfare states most resistant to change - Earnings-related, generous benefits - Contributions are paid out of ones own purse - Social partners have a decisive role – highly fragmented pension system - e.g. in France, Germany, Italy union consent has been decisive for previous successful reforms

11 Some general trends among the variation of pension reforms Tightening the link between contributions and benefits - Most visible in Italy and Sweden, likewise in Poland and Latvia - Countries with DB scheme: no more best years or last years principles Implementation of individual pension accounts - Widely adopted especially in EU12 countries Establishment of various sustainability factors or demographic factors Changes in pension indexation rules - Cost of living index instead of wage index or increased weight of the inflation component in a mixed indexing formula or lower adjustment by incorporating parametric component in the formula (as sustainability factors in Sweden and Germany) Measures aiming at raising the effective retirement age - abolition of early retirement pathways, raising the retirement age or making it flexible Prefunding of pensions

12 Value of pension assets in the EU countries in 2004, per cent of GDP Source: AWG (2006); EFRP 2005; OECD 2005

13 In the EU-15 countries the majority of pension reforms can be labelled parametric. However… Parametric reforms can be a crucial precursor for a more far-reaching paradigmatic reform as they change the liabilities under the old system and may thus pave the way for smoother transition to a new system and benefit structure (Holzmann et al., 2005; Hinrichs & Kangas, 2003) A new kind of interplay between public and private pension systems can be found in some countries when studying the issue more deeply.

14 An example from Germany Germany: - the pension reform in 2001 with the introduction of a voluntary pension saving scheme (so-called Riester pension) has been described as a path-breaking law which will over time substantially alter the institutional logic of the pension system (Hinrichs 2002, 2004 and 2005; Lamping & Rüb, 2004; Schmähl, 2004; Börsch-Supan & Wilke, 2006) - movement towards a new kind of public-private mix has further been strengthened by 2004 reforms with introduction of a sustainability factor slowing the pensions adjustment as well as establishment of target values for the contribution rate

15 An example from France France - According to Palier (2000), governments in France have long preferred to increase social contributions than to cut benefits. - Parametric changes. However, with the reform of 2003 a link between the level of pension and average life expectancy was established. Lengthening the period required for a full pension in pace with average life expectancy and especially the use of price indexation in both basic and supplementary systems decrease significantly the future pension level.

16 Market based approach in UK and Ireland UK: - Opting out system. The attractiveness to opt out was raised by parametric reforms in 1986 - stakeholder pensions 2001 - SERPS was replaced by S2P in 2002 (MIG, Pension Credit) - Plans for moving the S2P towards a flat-rate scheme - New scheme of personal accounts in the near future? Ireland: - Flat-rate statutory pension system - PRSA were introduced in 2002 - The government has raised the basic pension significantly Twofold pension strategy: the target is to shift pension provision to the private schemes while guaranteeing adequate incomes for the poorest pensioners

17 Path-breaking reforms in Sweden and Italy Italy established NDC reform in 1995 and Sweden in 1999 In Sweden fully funded individual pension accounts Italy is also launching individual pension accounts through the new TFR system starting from 2008 Changeover to the new system in Italy will be much slower and changes in life expectancy will not be taken into account annually but only after discussions once every 10 years

18 Multipillar reforms in the new EU countries Several new Member States play an important role as testing ground for the second pillar pension reform Also newcomers have adopted mandatory individual pension accounts (2nd pillar) - Romania in 2006; contributions to the private savings accounts to begin in 2008 - In Bulgaria a new system consisting of 2nd pillar individual accounts was implemented in January 2002 Individual pension account component much larger in the new EU countries than in Sweden

19 III: How drastically do reforms affect the future pensions?

20 Theoretical gross pension replacement rates in the EU-15 countries in 2005 and projected for 2050, %

21 Theoretical gross pension replacement rates in the EU-10 countries in 2005 and projected for 2050, %

22 What lessons can be learned? There is no single roadmap, no one size fits all, what comes to pension reform. Institutions do matter – continuity in pension policy is a visible phenomenon when countries develop their pension systems However not even traditional Bismarckian countries have stayed intact – substantial changes come as a result of incremental steps In many countries the income composition of the retiree will change – towards multipillar approach, shift of reliance to new players Defined-contribution savings accounts are high on the pension reform agenda. However, a range of variation in the role of the state, individuals freedom of choice, the provision of minimum pensions, overall coverage, regulation, investment rules and benefit guarantees Pension reform policy is a never-ending story

23 EU can afford to grow old According to EPC/AWG report 2006: - There are grounds for being optimistic that the EU can afford to grow old. Reforms work and many EU countries have made real progress in recent years - Ageing pushes up spending in the coming decades. However, other factors such as increase in the employment rate, tightened eligibility rates and declining relative benefit level will offset part of the demographic pressure. - In the EU15, these factors are projected to curtail some 70% of the pressure caused by demographic developments alone, and in the EU10 they would offset almost all the demographic pressure.

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