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  #21  
Old 09-20-2013, 03:10 PM
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FRANCE

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...98I0K020130919

Quote:
(Reuters) - A planned French retirement reform will do little to cut the deficit in public-sector workers' pensions, leaving a big drain on state finances, a government document showed on Thursday.

The European Commission wants France to carry out ambitious structural reforms in return for its decision this year to grant Paris a further two years to cut its overall public deficit below 3 percent of economic output.

The pension reform, one of the most closely watched since President Francois Hollande took office in May 2012, is aimed at plugging a pension deficit expected to reach 20.7 billion euros ($27.6 billion) by 2020 if nothing is done.

But government documents sent to lawmakers together with the pension bill indicate the deficit for public-sector workers' pensions would fall by only 800 million euros under the reform.

As a result the state budget will have to absorb a shortfall of 7.9 billion euros, instead of 8.7 billion without the reform, which the government hopes to quickly push through parliament.
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  #22  
Old 09-27-2013, 09:54 AM
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CHINA

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/see...lem-2013-09-23

Quote:
Professor Yang Yansui, a key designer of a social-security reform proposal submitted by Tsinghua University, recently irked many web users by proposing a policy to have people “retire at 50 years old and receive pension at 65.”

When asked what people should do in the 15 years in between, Yang said those who retire early “could get trained to perform social services. The men can become gardeners, and the women can wash clothes for the elders. How great is that!”
.....
Government-led pension funds are similar to commercial insurance. Both follow the law of large numbers and rely on actuarial calculation to minimize risk and maximize returns. Pension funds have no purpose if all they do is get money from individuals and companies to the social security department for collective management. Such a plan cannot truly satisfy participants’ needs.

Except for the National Social Security Fund directly financed by the central government, most existing social-security funds are deposited in banks or used to purchase national bonds. They are sufficiently low-risk but have returns about the same as the interest rate for term deposits. Such a low return is inadequate for the government to keep pace with pension expenditure.

Combining financial-structure reform and social needs has become an urgent matter under these circumstances. For example, the government could issue special national bonds to increase returns for existing social-security funds. Meanwhile, to cover more people under the pension, China should gradually decrease pension co-payments and give the account owner more say in the management and investment of his or her pension fund.

A shortage soaring into the trillions of yuan is another huge problem looming over the pension system. The so-called legacy shortage refers to a debt passed down from the very beginning of the social-security policy.

The first generation of workers to have social security coverage enjoyed the benefits but never made out-of-pocket payments in their working years. Younger, working-age people paid money into their accounts during their work years, and that money was used by the government to cover the first generation. This resulted in a large number of empty personal-pension accounts.

.....
In fact, the country has fallen short of the replacement rate for the last 20 years. Its labor force is rapidly shrinking as a result. The pension funds will eventually run dry, given the aging demographic. The current population-control policies are pushing the country closer to a pension crisis.

As the average life expectancy rises, postponing retirement is a necessary step. However, it is far from sufficient to filling the expanding pension hole. China needs to examine its changing demographics, be prepared to break up some vested interests and enact a more comprehensive reform plan to prevent a pension crisis. The first step could be halting the family-planning policy as soon as possible.

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  #23  
Old 10-10-2013, 01:12 PM
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SWEDEN

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/w...ion-fund.html/

Quote:
Sweden’s first, second, third, and fourth national pension reserve funds (AP1-AP4) will divest all their holdings in Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX), Incitec Pivot, and Potash Corp. (NYSE:POT) following a recommendation from the country’s Ethical Council. The council reports that after years of engaging with the companies over various dubious labor and environmental practices, all had failed to deliver substantive changes.

For some context, the AP1-AP4 funds represent four out of five so-called “buffer funds” within the Swedish national pension system. The sixth fund, AP6, invests in private equity. These funds are state owned and managed by a government-appointed board of directors but operate fairly independently of the regular bureaucratic machinery.

The funds are required by law to “manage their assets so as to generate maximum benefit for the income-based retirement system,” with a focus on long-term returns and low risk. Each of the funds receives one quarter of the social security contributions made to the pension system, and in turn, each fund is responsible for paying one quarter of benefits due from the system. As of the end of 2011, the five funds (AP1-AP4 plus AP6) claimed total assets of 873 billion Swedish krona (about $136 billion), or 27 percent of Sweden’s 2011 gross domestic product.
.....
With about 1 million shares between them, the AP funds are not among Wal-Mart’s major shareholders, though they are in the top 150 as of June 30.

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Old 12-01-2013, 08:55 PM
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CHINA (I assume this is a Social Security-like pension, and not public employees only...though I know that might be a blurry line in China)

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...23960723182766

Quote:
BEIJING--Chinese people retired from the workforce faster than new workers started paying into the country's national pension fund last year, according to data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

The number of Chinese contributing to the urban pension fund rose 7% from a year earlier to 214 million in 2012 while the number of retired Chinese climbed 9.5% from a year earlier to 69 million, the ministry said on its website Tuesday.

Pension fund contributors increased at a slower pace than the previous year's 12%, while those drawing on the fund grew at a faster pace than 2011's 8.6%.

Payouts from the fund totaled 1.40 trillion yuan ($230 billion), up 23% from a year earlier, growing at a faster pace than contributions, which grew 19% to 1.84 trillion yuan, the data show.

.....wait, what? 23% growth in one year?

.....

What?

Did they move a decimal point incorrectly?
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
CHINA (I assume this is a Social Security-like pension, and not public employees only...though I know that might be a blurry line in China)

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...23960723182766



.....wait, what? 23% growth in one year?

.....

What?

Did they move a decimal point incorrectly?
How long has this particular fund been around and what has been the rate of participation? This could reflect the first large cohort of people who entered it or something.
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  #26  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:58 AM
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Okay, maybe it's something that's relatively new. I don't know what's going on in China, pension-wise.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:05 PM
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http://www.vancouversun.com/business...325/story.html

Quote:
MEECH LAKE, Que. — If ever there was a deep wedge driven between the federal government and the provinces, the one over pension reform could likely be the one that leaves a lasting mark.

After years of heated discussions on how to enlarge the safety net of the Canadian Pension Plan — and just as many years of being urged not to kick the can down the road — Canada’s finance ministers did just that.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty played down the outcome of Monday’s meeting with his counterparts, an annual event, saying “we had a frank discussion, particular about the pension issue.”

But there was to be no resolution.



.....
While the ministers attending the meeting at Meech Lake, a resort near Ottawa, told reporters that they were on board with continuing to study options, they accused Ottawa of ignoring the consensus that was reached.

“There was no consensus today on expanding CPP,” said Kevin Sorenson, minister of state for finance.

“We believe that CPP payroll taxes can hurt the economy and distract what truly matters for all Canadians — keeping our economy strong and our finances in a strong fiscal footing is the plan of this government,” he said at the news conference following the meeting.

“Now is not the time to take more from the pay cheques of Canadians. Families and the economy can simply not afford CPP payroll taxes that would take money out of the pockets of employees, and force employers to cut jobs, to cut hours and to cut wages.”


......
Changes to the overall national pension scheme would require approval by Ottawa and two-thirds of the provinces, representing two-thirds of Canada’s population. Ontario and P.E.I. are in agreement — as long the reforms come quickly — as are Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Manitoba and Quebec. Still to be won over — along with Ottawa — are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

“We need to reconsider where we go from here, what it will look like. A made-in-Ontario solution may involve every province of Canada,” said Wes Sheridan, the finance minister of Prince Edward Island, which has also said it would consider its own pension plan.

Before the meeting, Mr. Sheridan told reporters that the provinces “can’t kick this can further down the road.”

“We’re talking about 70% of Canadians without workplace pensions,” he said.

Those earning between $30,000 and $100,000 are not saving enough to retire on, he added. “That’s where we’re really concerned.”

The plan by P.E.I would raise the threshold on insurable earnings to $102,200 from $51,100 over a three-year period, which would increase maximum annual benefits to $23,400 from $12,150 currently.

Under the proposal, those earning $25,000 or less annually would not see contributions increase.



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Old 01-20-2014, 06:51 AM
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ARMENIA

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...w-pension-plan

Quote:
Some 6,000 opposition activists protested in Yerevan on Saturday against a controversial new obligatory pension scheme.

The new plan, which took effect on January 1, essentially forces all people born after 1974 to pay five percent of their wages into private pension funds.

"A government racket has come into force that allows the authorities to put their hands into people's pockets," said Naira Zohrabyan, a lawmaker of the opposition Prosperous Armenia party.

Unemployment is a major concern in the ex-Soviet state, and protesters said the new law may force them to look for work abroad.

"People's wages are their own private property and no one has the right to tell them what to do with them," computer programmer Artur Garibyan told AFP at the rally in central Yerevan.

"This law should not be obligatory," said Garibyan, 34.

The controversial new pension scheme has drawn ire from across society against the government of President Serzh Sarkisian.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:44 PM
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HONG KONG

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/a...r-65s-proposed

Quote:
Plan for flat-rate monthly pension for all over-65s is proposed
Higher taxes may be needed for proposal that would replace old-age allowances, but not CSSA

Everyone would be entitled to a flat-rate monthly pension from the age of 65 under an option being considered by an expert commissioned to lead a year-long government study of retirement proposals.

The proposed scheme, details of which are being worked out by Professor Nelson Chow Wing-sun, would replace the existing old-age allowance and old-age living allowance schemes.

The University of Hong Kong social work professor has hinted that higher taxes may be needed to pay for the pensions.

Chow was commissioned last year to look into various proposals, amid mounting public calls for a universal pension system. He is expected to finish his report next month and submit it to the Commission on Poverty.

The initial plan is for the non-means-tested scheme to provide a monthly amount adequate for a retiree to live "a reasonably acceptable life". It is likely to be more than the HK$2,300 a month old-age living allowance.

"The [proposed universal pension] scheme won't replace comprehensive social security assistance," Chow said. "Even though there is a pension scheme, there will still be some elderly people who need more financial support."

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Old 06-01-2014, 04:56 PM
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SWITZERLAND

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-0...tion-vote.html

Quote:
“I’ve enjoyed living in Switzerland,” said Biddle, 46, who’s returning to work in his native U.K. this summer and never learned German during his time at Cosmorex AG in Thalwil on the outskirts of Zurich. He moved to Switzerland “basically looking for a job” after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. closed down its precious metals desk in London. “I definitely have no intention of retiring here.”

Biddle is part of a growing number of highly paid immigrants who come to work in Switzerland and don’t retire in the nation of 8 million. Their social contributions have helped the Swiss state pension system AHV generate a surplus, while avoiding paying for their care in old age. The pension system, already under duress as the national population ages, is now threatened after voters in February chose to back a motion for Switzerland to introduce quotas on foreign workers.

While foreigners’ payments into the pension system allow them to later draw from it, the time lag between contributions and benefit payments props up the structure in the interim.

“The problem we have to solve would be much bigger without immigration,” said Stephan Cueni, the deputy director of the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Office, which manages the AHV. The first pillar of state pensions, which is intended to cover basic living expenses, “profits from immigrant workers from the European Union,” he said.

.....
Immigrants, who are on average younger than the resident population, have helped to slow down that demographic change in Switzerland, providing relief to the pay-as-you-go financing of Swiss pensions by raising the percentage of active workers financing retirees.

More than 70 percent of foreigners are between 20 and 64, while less than 60 percent of Swiss citizens are in that age bracket. If fewer immigrants come to work in Switzerland, the ratio of workers paying in and pensioners withdrawing deteriorates, according to the social insurance office.

Not everyone is convinced.

“Immigration defuses the aging problem only slightly, it is not a panacea,” said Daniel Kalt, chief economist at UBS AG. (UBSN) “If we would want to neutralize this problem solely via immigration, we would have to let so many people into the country that Switzerland’s population would reach 17 million by 2030.”

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