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  #71  
Old 03-14-2018, 12:30 PM
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Old 03-15-2018, 02:47 PM
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...outnumber-kids

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A Worrying Shift for Pensions: Retirees Will Soon Outnumber Kids
By
March 14, 2018, 1:18 PM EDT
By 2030, about one in five residents will be retirement age
Fewer employees contribute to pension pot as more retire
Spoiler:
For those worried about the ability of U.S. state and local governments to cover promised pension checks, the Census Bureau announced a milestone that should add to their fears: by 2030, for the first time, senior citizens will outnumber children.

In 12 years, about one in five Americans will be of retirement age, and by 2035, those 65 and older will outnumber those under 18 by about 2 million, according to the latest estimates released by the agency. The consequences are wide-ranging, from the solvency of Social Security to increased health-care costs for an aging population.


The swelling ranks of retirees from public service, such as police officers and teachers, will also present a strain on state and local government retirement systems that have about $1.6 trillion less than what they need to cover the benefits workers are counting on.

That shortfall is the result of investment losses, overly aggressive investment forecasts, inadequate contributions and perks granted in boom times. Governments will need to pay more into the funds to make up that gap, putting a squeeze on their budgets that could imperil their bond ratings and diminish services for residents.

After the recession, American governments laid off workers and cut back on hiring, leaving fewer paying in as the number of retirees grows. The ratio of active workers to those receiving benefits has dropped to 1.42 from 2.43 in 2002, according to a survey of the largest public pensions conducted by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.

Fully funded plans would have enough assets to cover the projected payouts. But for those already facing gaps, the burden to pay for the benefits for current and future retirees will be even higher.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:11 PM
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SOUTH KOREA

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/...031901309.html
Quote:
Koreans Increasingly Resent the Elderly

Spoiler:
Koreans increasingly resent the elderly, whom they often blame for holding the country back with their political and social views and for their sheer numbers as society ages.

The Internet is flooded with malicious comments about old people, presaging a revolt against the Confucian tradition of respect for elders that has been a cornerstone of Korean society. But the result is that older people feel increasingly marginalized in a society they worked so hard to build after the war.

The National Human Rights Commission produced the first-ever report on the rights of senior citizens this year based on a survey of human rights abuses and attitudes toward the elderly. The commission questioned 1,000 senior citizens over 65 and 500 people between 19 to 64.

It found an alarming proportion of young Koreans are pessimistic about old age. Some 80.9 percent of respondents aged 19 to 39 said society is ageist, and that is why the rights of elderly people are violated. But among old people, only 35.1 percent thought that.

But the main reason is that the young in Korea, as elsewhere in the world, feel that the old hog all the wealth and welfare. Some 56.6 percent of younger respondents worried that a growing employment for older people is robbing young people of their jobs.

Also, 77.1 percent of them feared they will have to shoulder an increasing burden of welfare costs for the elderly, and 80 percent that their pension payments will decline due to the soaring costs of supporting the elderly.

Again the generational conflict was more keenly felt by younger respondents with 81.9 percent, compared to only 44.3 percent of senior citizens.


Won Young-hee at Korean Bible University said, "This shows that young people are more worried than senior citizens about the situation they will face when they grow old. If we leave this issue unaddressed, it could become a major problem."

Only 10 percent of senior citizens felt they were abused and neglected, but 85.2 percent of young Koreans felt that way. Also, twice as many young people than senior citizens were concerned about dying alone and facing discrimination in the office because they are seen as old and useless.

This problem is global in affluent societies. In Japan, where more than 20 percent of the population is over 65, negative sentiment toward the elderly has surged over the last three to four years. Young Japanese people, who have to spend a great deal of money supporting the elderly, not only have a general disdain for the aged but also are scared of growing old themselves.

The trend is spreading more rapidly in Korea because aging is accelerating faster than in Japan. In August last year, Korea officially became an aged society, where the proportion of the population over 65 is more than 14 people of the total.

Koo Jeong-woo at Sungkyunkwan University said, "As the economic interests of the generations collide, problems over distribution of the national pension and the obligation of supporting the elderly will grow and could breed an aversion to senior citizens and aging."

That growing resentment is already conspicuous. Derogatory terms for the elderly are spreading among people in their 20s and 30s, amplified by political conflict. A tipping point was the support among many elderly people for ex-President Park Geun-hye, even when to many young people she and the subservient political system she represented were compromised beyond redemption.



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Old 03-29-2018, 12:11 PM
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SOUTH KOREA

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news...001800320.html

Quote:
Centenarian state pension recipients rise steadily in recent years: gov't data
Spoiler:
SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- The number of recipients of South Korea's state pension who are over 100 years old has risen steadily in recent years as Asia's fourth-largest economy has become an "aged society," government data showed Thursday.

South Korea became an aged society last year as people over 65 made up more than 14 percent of the population.

The number of people over 100 receiving a state pension rose to 85 last year from 29 in 2012, 41 in 2013, 46 in 2014, 54 in 2015 and 67 in 2016, according to statistics by the National Pension Service (NPS).

All of the centenarian recipients received the survivor's pension as their offspring have deceased.

The total for 2017 breaks down by age to 14 males and 71 females.

NPS said that, of the total 4.47 million national pension recipients, 1.74 million were in their 70s, 226,000 were in their 80s and 3,030 were in their 90s.

South Korea has 3,486 people aged over 100 as of Nov. 1, 2016, according to data by Statistics Korea.

The number has increased gradually to 3,000 in 2015 from 961 in 2005.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:27 AM
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BRAZIL

https://www.wsj.com/articles/these-d...ces-1522602650

Quote:
These Developing Countries Are Getting Old Before They Get Rich, With Dire Consequences
Mix of more retirees, fewer workers to support each one, leaves budgets of countries such as Brazil with little money to invest in growth or basic services

Spoiler:
RIO DE JANEIRO— Mariuza da Conceição Aparecida taught math and science at public schools for 27 years, enough to retire on a full pension in her late 50s.

Last year, more than two decades later, the 80-year-old was forced to wait in line at food banks. Swelling retirement obligations have nearly bankrupted the Rio de Janeiro state government, leaving Ms. Aparecida without her pension checks for as long as four months at a time. She resorted to singing in the streets to draw attention to the situation of the elderly.

“It saddens me to see the Rio that I love in a situation like this,” she said.


The country’s pension system is unusually generous. Helping make it unaffordable is a demographic shift likely to weigh on Brazil and other emerging economies for decades to come: the steady aging of the population, which is happening faster than in the developed world, leaving these economies less time to adjust.

In other words, they’re getting old before they get rich.

Throughout Latin America and Asia, decades of falling birth rates and growing life expectancies have produced more retirees with fewer workers to underwrite their care. For government policy makers, this means challenges as burgeoning pension and health costs leave less money for economic development.

Demographic Pincer

…leading to fewer workers to support the elderly. A gaping social-security deficit has ensued.

…while fertility rates have declined…

As Brazil's economy developed over the decades, life expectancy has risen…

births per woman

6

16

people 20-64 for every person 65 or older

years

80

Brazil

5

12

70

4

3

8

60

Upper-

middle-

income

countries

2

4

50

1

0

0

40

’70

’80

2000

’90

1960

’10

’50

2100

2000

1950

’70

2000

1960

’10

’80

’90

PROJECTIONS

Source: World Bank (life expectancy, fertility); United Nations
Population aging is well known in advanced economies such as the U.S., where falling fertility after the post-World War II baby boom long ago tightened the worker-to-retiree ratio. The U.S. was already wealthy, however, with extensive infrastructure and institutions in place.

That’s not the case in Brazil. Chronic housing shortages have left every major city dotted with makeshift settlements known as favelas. São Paulo’s subways have one-fifth the mileage of New York’s, although São Paulo has 40% more people. Nationally, more than half of sewage goes untreated. The average adult has just eight years of formal schooling.

Tackling such growth-impeding problems has long been a government priority, but the financial firepower for it is set to erode. Retirement outlays already eat up 43% of Brazil’s national budget, and health care about 7%, while two expenditures that are critical to economic development—education and infrastructure—claim only about 3% each.

The social security system’s revenue shortfall widens each year as the worker-to-pensioner ratio shrinks. The United Nations projects that by 2050, the number of potential workers per retiree in upper-middle-income developing countries such as Brazil will tumble from the 2015 figure of seven to just 2.5.

Only Japan has ever faced a shift of this scale in a similarly short period, and it now has one of the world’s most indebted governments.

In the U.K. and U.S., it took 95 years and 82 years, respectively, for fertility rates to fall from above six children per woman to below three. In Turkey this change took just 27 years, in Brazil 26 and in China only 11.


Credit-rating firms are getting anxious. Standard & Poors estimates that unless there are major changes to publicly funded pension and health-care systems, population aging will help drive net government debt in the biggest emerging economies to extraordinary levels—307% of gross domestic product in Brazil, 274% in China, 262% in Russia and 341% in Saudi Arabia by 2050.

Their sovereign bonds would be rated junk in that scenario, said an S&P analyst, Marko Mrsnik. The most indebted major economy at present, Italy, has net debt just 120% of GDP. “It is very important to understand the situation and to act earlier rather than later,” Mr. Mrsnik said.

The good news, experts say, is that policy makers can tackle social-security deficits from various angles: They can raise the minimum retirement age, increase the number of years that workers must pay into the system, or reduce payouts. The bad news is that such measures tend to repel voters.

Lack maintenance funds idled many of Rio’s police patrol cars.
Lack maintenance funds idled many of Rio’s police patrol cars. PHOTO: LIANNE MILTON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The political pitfalls are on display in Brazil, where the average worker retires around age 55. President Michel Temer’s government in February shelved a year-long push to overhaul the deficit-ridden social security system. Its failure partly reflected low approval ratings for Mr. Temer, who faces corruption accusations, which he has denied, but it also underscores the political reality that once bestowed, entitlements are hard to scale back.

“People don’t take to the streets in favor [of a pension overhaul], only against it,” said Marcelo Caetano, Brazil’s social-security secretary and the architect of the shelved proposal.


Vastly higher healthcare costs also loom, in part because of poor countries’ success in reducing infant and child mortality.

Children under five now account for just 2.9% of deaths in Brazil, down from 35% in 1976. This partly reflects the low cost of treating most childhood ailments; diarrhea, once a major killer of small children, can be treated with rehydration salts that cost as little 10 cents a packet.

Older people’s ills hit the budget differently. “If you save people from dying of cheap things, they die of expensive things,” said Lant Pritchett, a development economist at Harvard University. “Doing an open-heart surgery on a 72-year-old man—you can’t pretend that’s going to have future productivity benefits.”

In the old days of high birth rates and large families, an elderly farm hand could often count on a small army of children for support after hanging up his pitchfork.

Nowadays, that task falls to the government. But in countries where informal labor is rampant, authorities wrestle with a gut-wrenching decision: whether or not to cover aging citizens who didn’t contribute enough to social security.

Brazil, where formal jobs are rare outside of cities, chose to do so. Its 1988 constitution said everyone had a right to health care and retirement benefits and made it the state’s duty to provide them.

Such benefits were financially fanciful in that era of raging inflation, but they were increasingly granted under the leftist Workers’ Party government that took over in 2003. Fueled by a commodity boom, it granted pensions to millions of peasants and informal workers who hadn’t paid in. It also nearly doubled the minimum monthly wage, which the constitution set as the floor for retirement checks.

The upshot: Rural workers paid about $3 billion in social-security taxes for the 12 months through September 2017, while rural retirees drew about $36 billion in benefits.

A downtown office of the financially strapped Rio de Janeiro state pension fund.
A downtown office of the financially strapped Rio de Janeiro state pension fund. PHOTO: LIANNE MILTON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Inside the offices of the Rioprevidência pension fund.
Inside the offices of the Rioprevidência pension fund. PHOTO: LIANNE MILTON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
In another fiscal nightmare, various pension systems for government employees often promise them benefits equal to their full salaries at retirement.


Take the late João Mansur, a legislator in Paraná state. Because he served as interim governor for 39 days in 1973, he was able to retire with a pension now topping $9,000 a month because of inflation adjustments. He died in 2012, but his widow continues to receive the payouts. Bereaved spouses are usually entitled to their partner’s pensions, providing an incentive for young women to marry old men that Brazilians call “the Viagra effect.”

An especially generous privilege belongs to the unmarried daughters of military men. When former military dictator Emílio Garrastazu Médici was on his deathbed in 1984, his biological granddaughter, Cláudia Médici, chose to be adopted by him as a daughter. More than three decades after his death, she continues receiving his pension. A lawyer for Ms. Médici said the general loved her like a daughter.

Courtesy of such largess, Brazil’s pension outlays already match levels in some countries that have more elderly. Brazil spends 13.1% of its GDP on pensions, which is about the same as Greece, where the share of residents over 65 is more than twice as large.

Rio de Janeiro state, where the median age is three years higher than the country as a whole, suggests what is in store for emerging economies if they continue to spend as though they’ll never grow old.

Though just 11% of Rio’s population is 65 or older, the state government’s payroll already includes more pensioners than working civil servants.

Social-security payouts for nongovernment workers are capped at the equivalent of $1,700 a month, but most government workers get pensions equaling their full pay when they last worked, indexed to inflation. The highest paid receive around $10,000 monthly, in a country where the average worker earns less than $700 a month.

On a recent weekday, most of the people coming and going from a downtown Rio office of the state pension fund, known as Rioprevidência, were widows of state-government employees collecting survivors’ pensions. In Rio state, unmarried daughters of civil servants who died before 1998 can receive a parent’s pension.

Payroll taxes cover less than a third of Rioprevidência’s expenditures. To cope, the state government sometimes delays checks that are owed to hundreds of thousands of people, not only retirees but also current government employees, from nurses to police.

Walter Cecchetto, a 53-year-old IT technician at a state government office, said the situation left him with thousands of dollars in high-interest debt he had to take on when the government couldn’t meet its payroll.

“The outcome of the state’s financial crisis for me was a decline in my quality of life, indebtedness, depression and an enormous anger at the government,” Mr. Cecchetto said.

Government employee Walter Cecchetto, standing, ran up debt when Rio state was late paying him.
Government employee Walter Cecchetto, standing, ran up debt when Rio state was late paying him. PHOTO: LIANNE MILTON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Schools and universities periodically close. Public hospitals are perpetually short on supplies. At one point late last year, scarce funds to maintain police patrol cars kept half of them off the streets.

Investment spending by the state government has ground to a halt. That has left dozens of public works incomplete and decaying in the tropical climate, including sewage-treatment plants, roads and a cleanup of foul-smelling lagoons around Olympic facilities. An unfinished maternity hospital in the poor suburb of São Gonçalo is occupied by squatters.

Gustavo Barbosa, the former state finance secretary, said he doesn’t know when the state will be able to resume such projects. “I have to pay light bills here every month. I have to pay for gasoline for police cars. I have to pay rent,” he said. Investment “is what is compromised when there’s no money.”
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