Forschungslabor: „Geschichte und Sozialanthropologie Südost‐ und Osteuropas“
Zeit: Donnerstag, 14–16 Uhr (Lehrstuhl) oder 16–18 Uhr (Graduiertenschule und Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus)
Ort: WiOS, Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 017)
Dr. Michael Knogler, IOS
The system of pension insurance is a central component of a social security system in Ukraine and it needs urgent reforms. High level of pension fund's expenditures - also compared with the situation worldwide - has considerably increased since 2004. According to the programme, the expenditures constituted 12-14 % of the GDP between 2004 and 2007, 15.8% in 2008, and 18% in 2009. In 2009 the pension fund's deficit amounted to 8% of the total expenditures of the fond. More than half of the pensioners receive pensions below the minimum living standard, whereas privileged pensioners receive comparatively high pensions. Even though the law introducing multi-stage pension scheme has been passed, an obligatory funded pillar scheme has not been introduced as yet. Voluntarily funded pension is insufficiently regulated and thus poorly developed.
The reform programme blames the following factors for causing the problems of pension schemes: low retirement ages of 55 years for women and 60 for men, pension privileges for individual professional groups, low participation by the population in contributions schemes, the pronounced informal economy, which often leads to contributions to the pension schemes being calculated on the basis of minimum income, and the lack of diversification of the pension schemes.
The steps to be taken are: increase in the eligibility requirements (from 5 to 15 years of professional activity), adjustment of retirement age, raising the retirement age to 65 years for the participants of the second pillar of the pension schemes, reduction of early retirement, introduction of the maximum pension, gradual change towards financing pensions by contributions from employees, involvement of the self-employed, and the introduction of a single pension schemes contribution rate.
The stages of the reform provided for in the programme remain vague. In general, the reform programme has very limited ambitions. Pension information portal shall be created, pension contributions from the self-employed, and the maximum pension shall be introduced by the end of 2011. By 2012, during the second stage, the following shall be achieved: definition of pension indexing regulations, restriction of the early retirement system, and gradual adjustment of retirement age between men and women. The programme contains no details on how it is to be done.
In contrast, a recently published report (Blue Ribbon Analytical and Advisory Centre) shows dramatic effects of aging on the present pension schemes. According to population projections, the number of pensioners will increase by 8% by 2050; the number of the contributors will, on the other hand, fall by 25%. The number of pensioners accounts for four per ten workforce already, namely nine pensioners per ten contributors. The situation is compounded by the growing number of informal and undeclared workers; merely three-quarters of workers are actually paying pension contributions. By 2025, there will be one contributor for one pensioner. According to the report, the number of pensioners will exceed the number of contributors by 25% by 2050. The deficit of the pension fund (expenditures not covered by contributions) would increase to 12% in 2025 and to 30% in 2050.
Later retirement age represents the main way to ensure the sustainability of the pension system. The report proposes a number of measures including a "crisis reduction" option. It implies higher retirement age, 65 years, for both women and men to be achieved progressively by a yearly increase of six months starting from 2011. In that way, the ratio of pensioners to contributors shall be reduced to 77% (96% without change in retirement age).