Elections 2018: Slovenia’s Aging Population Makes Pensions a Central Issue (Feature)

By , 18 May 2018, 10:40 AM Politics
Elections 2018: Slovenia’s Aging Population Makes Pensions a Central Issue (Feature) Flickr - sima dimitric, CC by 2.0

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STA, 18 May 2018 - Population ageing is a major topic of the campaign leading up to the 3 June election. While parties advocate a variety of solutions to make the country's pension system sustainable, most of them would encourage pensioners to remain an active part of the labour force longer. 

All our election coverage can be found here, while our profiles of the major parties are here.

Apart from the obvious goal of preventing pensions from decreasing further and avoiding the continued raising of the retirement age, most parties believe the country needs a special demographic fund which would support the state pension insurer with proceeds from the management of state equity stakes.

Ideas on how to do this differ. While the coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) believes that virtually all state assets should be transfer onto such a fund, the fellow coalition Social Democrats (SD) believe strategic investments should remain in the domain of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding, the current state asset custodian.

Despite the differences in opinion, all parties consider pension reform unavoidable. The centre-right opposition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi) are the most adamant advocates of change.

The SDS believes that the pension system will have to be adapted to the changing situation. Most notably, people themselves will have to make sure that they have a decent income in retirement.

Moreover, pensioners would be able to take up paid work and pay normal income tax on any earnings, while those with the lowest pensions would get a EUR 500 Christmas bonus.

The NSi has drafted a pension reform based on three pillars. The first two pillars, both obligatory, would cover pension contribution and investment, while there would also be an optional third investment pillar.

The party would scrap linear pension adjustments and introduce a system based on a new pension scale that would take into account the person's work from 1992 onwards.

The non-parliamentary Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) is also considering boosting labour activity among pensioners. This would be achieved by relaxing requirements for part-time work, which would not affect the amount of pensions like it does now.

The Social Democrats (SDS) also want to encourage pensioners to work. The party would increase active employment policy funds to 1.5% of GDP, earmarking at least 40% of the money for measures aimed at pensioners.

The SD plans to follow the pension reform guidelines agreed upon with social partners during the past term, when SD member Anja Kopač Mrak was labour and social affairs minister.

The coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) also wants to increase work opportunities for pensioners and stop further decrease in pensions.

The opposition Left would reduce the gap between the salary just before retirement and pension by increasing the basis for pension calculation.

It would also increase pension contribution from employers, a measure that would raise EUR 700m annually. An additional EUR 50m could be raised by imposing social contribution payments based on capital income.

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