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  #61  
Old 08-09-2015, 10:48 AM
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JAPAN

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8ecfc...#axzz3iKDT90Ld

Quote:

The move by Japan’s Y137tn ($1.14tn) Government Pension Investment Fund to radically increase its exposure to domestic and foreign equities at the expense of bonds has been a significant boon for the US fund house.

BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager, increased the assets it runs on behalf of government-related pension schemes in Japan — of which money from the GPIF forms the bulk — from Y9.4tn to Y13.8tn in the 12 months to the end of March.

The rise saw BlackRock become the second-largest manager of defined benefit pension assets in Japan behind Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, according to data from the Japan Pensions Industry Database.

The overhaul of the GPIF’s assets, which was announced last October, was the result of almost two years of pressure from the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Mr Abe had been keen to see the GPIF adopt a much more aggressive approach in managing its assets, in order both to meet the rising cost of pension payouts and to support his broad programme to haul Japan out of years of deflation.
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  #62  
Old 08-18-2015, 12:26 AM
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UNITED KINGDOM
COLAS (OR LACK THEREOF)
EXPATRIATES

http://www.theguardian.com/money/201...rozen-pensions

Quote:
If you work in the UK all of your life, dutifully paying taxes, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that you may wish to retire abroad, as many people have done. But, of 12 million British state pensioners, only those living in the UK and a seemingly random list of other countries would have their pensions uprated annually in line with inflation. This leaves 560,000 British pensioners living in one of around 120 countries around the world with pensions that are “frozen”. This means the amount they receive will remain at the same amount for the entirety of their retirement. The real-term value of their pension, therefore, declines throughout their lifetime.

You may think that if someone has paid taxes and national insurance contributions, this is rather unfair. Well, that is just the beginning. What’s most unfair about this archaic policy is that it is not applied consistently. Move to the US and your pension will be uprated as if you lived in the UK, yet move north of the border to Canada and your pension will be frozen. Why? I certainly do not see a reason.

The choice of the frozen countries ranges from the ridiculous to the discriminatory. In my constituency of Leicester East there is a large Indian population. Returning to retire in their ancestral home is something many of my constituents would like to do, and many already have. Unfortunately, India is on the frozen list. The result: they will punished because they have chosen to retire there, rather than Europe or the US, or even the Philippines or Macedonia, where British state pensions are not frozen.

When I hold a surgery, perhaps half of the constituents who attend are first- or second-generation immigrants who have come here to work and to build a life here, and they have made their contribution to our economy in doing so. If they ask me why they would lose their right to a pension if they retire, what am I to say? Sorry, please consider the Philippines?


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  #63  
Old 08-18-2015, 12:27 AM
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ONTARIO, CANADA

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2...es-walkom.html

Quote:
Stephen Harper doesn’t like Ontario’s proposed new pension plan. In fact, he hates it.
The prime minister is doing his best to sabotage Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and says he’s “delighted” that Ottawa’s sheer contrariness is making her task more difficult.
He says the Ontario premier’s decision to fund the plan through new payroll taxes would cripple the economy.
But if the Conservative leader hates Wynne’s relatively modest scheme, what can he think about the much bigger — and more expensive — Canada Pension Plan that his own government operates?
Wynne would levy a 3.8 per cent payroll tax split equally between workers and their employers. The CPP levies a combined 9.9 per cent payroll tax to fund the retirement income of those who have contributed.
If Harper had his way, would he ditch the CPP, too?
The answer to that question is unclear. Over the years, Harper’s approach to the CPP has veered from outright opposition to glum acceptance.
Retirees may appreciate a public pension scheme that guarantees them a modest inflation-adjusted income (the maximum CPP payout this year is $12,800).
But at various times in his career, Harper has dismissed the Canada Pension Plan as a boondoggle and tax grab that should be taken apart and privatized.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:37 PM
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RUSSIA

part 1

http://imrussia.org/en/analysis/econ...-zombie-part-1

Quote:
Like many national pension systems, Russia’s system is mostly “pay as you go,” meaning that working people pay for the pensions of retired people. But, unlike some systems (such as that in the U.S.), Russia also has the so-called accumulative portion. Pension contributions come from a 22 percent tax on people’s incomes, although employees don’t pay a single kopeck from their paychecks—instead it is all paid by the employer. Of this 22 percent tax, 16 percent goes into the pay-as-you-go system—meaning to current pensioners—while the other 6 percent goes into the accumulative system, or at least it did until 2013, when the moratorium was announced.

Russia’s 22 percent pension tax is near the median worldwide—it’s higher than the United States’ 12.4 percent and Germany’s 19.6 percent, but lower than Spain’s 28.3 percent or Hungary’s 34 percent. Over the last decade, the Russian government has raised payouts to pensioners significantly, spending about 8-9 percent of GDP each year from 2010 to 2014, up from 5-6 percent from 2001 to 2008. This makes sense—the economy grew significantly over the last 15 years and the government, flush with cash from energy exports, decided it would be politically expedient to redistribute some of its earnings, especially after pensioners revolted over changes made in 2005. The spending increase is also due to a rise in the pensioner population: after the number of retired people held steady at about 38.5 million from 2001-2008, it gradually increased to almost 41.5 million today.

The Russian government, and former Finance Minister Kudrin in particular, planned for these changes in the 2000s, knowing that the state would need a source of money to pay for pensions in the years when the price of oil fell. This source became the National Wealth Fund (NWF), created in 2008 along with the Reserve Fund, both of which were successors to the Stabilization Fund formed in 2004. The NWF grew to over $93 billion in early 2009 and held steady above $80 billion until 2014.

A Gaping Hole

At the moment, the NWF has about $74 billion left, or 4.9 trillion rubles—but its stated purpose has changed. After being opened up to infrastructure projects in 2012, the fund has become a piggy bank for state companies to raid for investment money. In the midst of Russia’s current recession, the total value of requests from the fund has exceeded the amount of cash it possesses, and new appeals from the likes of Gazprom and Rosneft roll in every month. This is despite the fact that in recent years, Gazprom has massively overinvested in new capacity, to the point that it can produce 617 billion cubic meters of gas while it has only needed 400-450 b.c.m. annually in recent years, due to a worldwide glut of hydrocarbons. In other words: state companies, led by the likes of Putin pals Alexei Miller and Igor Sechin, want money that was originally promised to pensioners in order to invest in capacity they probably don’t even need.

The bigger problem, however, is that the NWF doesn’t have enough money to feed the zombie pension system. Just as a bank is called a “zombie” if it has zero net worth but keeps functioning thanks to state bailouts, Russia’s pension system is an economic walking corpse. Russia’s 2015 budget projects pension expenditures of 7.77 trillion rubles, or well over $100 billion, and revenue of only 4.14 trillion rubles. The government has to make up that difference of 3.63 trillion rubles ($54 billion) with money from the budget, which itself is expected to have a deficit of 2.68 trillion rubles this year. The current draft budget for 2016-2018 predicts annual pension system shortfalls of about 3.7 trillion rubles, to be compensated from the budget. If the National Wealth Fund were used to pay for these shortfalls instead, it would be gone in 16 months.
part 2
http://imrussia.org/en/analysis/econ...-zombie-part-2

Quote:
The most widely touted solution, one that a consensus of experts agrees on, is raising the retirement age. Currently set at 55 for women and 60 for men—with thousands of people, such as those who worked at so-called “harmful and dangerous” enterprises, able to receive a pension even earlier—the retirement age is low by international standards. Virtually all 34 OECD countries have a normal retirement age of at least 65; for almost half those nations, it is 67 or older. And Russians’ life expectancy has been on the rise, having reached 76 for women and 65 for men. Putin, after years of ignoring the idea of raising the retirement age, broached the issue during his annual call-in show in April, hinting that such a move could be on the horizon. The current draft budget for 2016-2018 would gradually raise the retirement age by increasing it six months every year until it reached 63 for both men and women. The Labor Ministry also recently wrote a bill under which state workers would start receiving special pension benefits only at age 65.
.....
No one has suggested raising the pension tax yet, but another measure is being seriously considered that would lower pension payouts. The 2016-2018 draft budget proposes indexing pensions at a rate lower than the predicted rate of inflation—meaning they would go up by 5.5 percent instead of 7 percent in 2016, by 4.5 percent instead of 6.3 percent in 2017, and by 4 percent instead of 5.1 percent in 2018. Keep in mind, annualized inflation is currently at a sky-high 15.6 percent, and while it is expected to drop next year to 6-8 percent, that would still deal a painful blow to pensioners’ real wages. This process has already begun: in July, the value of the average pension dropped 3.9 percent compared to a year ago, due to inflation. Pensioners by law cannot technically be below the poverty line, but their incomes put them very close. In the first quarter of 2015, the average monthly pension nationwide was about 12,000 rubles ($200), while the cost of an average “market basket” of essential food items for a single person was just under 10,000 rubles.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that, unlike in many Western countries, in Russia the vast majority of retirees live almost exclusively on their state pensions. In a 2013 survey, 93 percent of retired Russians said they lived off their pensions, even though a majority of Russians believe a state pension is not enough to get by. (Compare that to retired Americans, for whom Social Security benefits make up just 38 percent of their income.) Contrary to popular belief, elderly Russians do not receive much financial support from their children or other relatives, either— only 8 percent of pensioners said they received additional income from family.
.....
In 2012, the International Monetary Fund published a working paper about reforming the Russian pension system. In the paper, the authors warned that by 2050, the government was on track to spend a whopping 16 percent of GDP on pensions, almost twice the current level. But looking that far into the future is a futile exercise in Russia. Thirty years ago, no one knew with any certainty that the Soviet Union would cease to exist just six years later. It is equally difficult to know what the coming decade holds for modern-day Russia. When it comes to the country’s pension system, the relevant timeline is shorter than 10 years, however, let alone 30. If the government does not act to make the system less of a millstone on the federal budget, it could quite simply bankrupt the country.
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  #65  
Old 09-08-2015, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
Yeah, the LPR in Spain is below 35% right now, and its putting tremendous strain on the pension system.
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  #66  
Old 10-07-2015, 06:05 PM
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JAPAN

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...kfire-on-japan

Quote:
“Any increase in total pension payments may be limited to a gradual rise, relative to the increase in wages and prices,” says Jun Saito, senior research fellow at Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo and a former official at the Cabinet Office. “Seniors may have less leeway to spend. That could be one of the reasons why private consumption is struggling to rise.”

The government is raising the age at which people become eligible for retirement income and also cut payments in real terms in fiscal 2013 through 2015 to stop overpayments.


Quote:
The age of eligibility for pensions for workers at private companies will rise to 65 for men by 2026 and by 2031 for women. You already have to be that age to receive the basic national pension. This means less money -- and less spending -- for those who are looking to join the ranks of the almost 40 million people in Japan who live on retirement income.
Despite the potential impact on spending, pensioners find themselves in the sights of cost cutters because at least in terms of spending power, they were winners as Japan suffered through years and years of deflation. Since 1999, benefits weren't cut as much as prices fell, and now the government is bringing them back where they should be, and even slowing the rise more than that.
Under Abenomics, stock prices have soared and household assets hit a record, but many have missed out on this "wealth effect" as they don't own securities.
The elderly are overwhelmingly dependent on pensions, and this may explain why they have been reluctant to spend, even as total assets have boomed.
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  #67  
Old 10-09-2015, 04:41 PM
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GREECE
BACKLOG


http://www.ekathimerini.com/202337/a...eatens-to-blow

Quote:
A hidden deficit of 8 billion euros is threatening to torpedo the government’s fiscal planning and bring down the country’s social security funds.

More than 300,000 applications for pensions are pending, representing total expenditure of 4 billion euros. The waiting time ranges between 12 and 24 months, while in certain cases it comes to three or four years.

Another problem for the Labor Ministry is the government’s obligation to determine and legislate a number of measures that would offset the impact of the Council of State’s decisions against pension cuts since 2012, estimated at 2 billion euros at least. In fact, social security experts argue that the cost of implementing the court verdicts may rise to 4.2 billion.

On top of this hidden debt, which is not officially recorded, one should add the debts of the pension funds to the EOPYY healthcare organization, amounting to 1.7 billion euros, as well as contributions to the former Labor Housing organizations (totaling 327.2 million euros), which are still paid by workers but are not forwarded to the organizations by the social security funds.

The data that pension fund employees presented on Thursday at their 31st annual conference are particularly timely, coming just a few days before the presentation of the government plan on the social security system’s new structure. This will have to absorb all of the above deficits.

The pension fund workers’ union estimates that outstanding applications for pensions amount to 327,000, with 43,500 of the applicants having just received temporary pensions. Almost half of the pending applications concern the Social Security Foundation (IKA), numbering 141,644 approved pensions that are yet to start being paid.

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  #68  
Old 10-11-2015, 10:59 AM
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ONTARIO
CANADA

http://www.durhamregion.com/news-sto...pension-plans/

Quote:
The Government of Ontario recently announced new details about a proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. However, Durham business owners remain concerned about the new pension plan and the impact it could have on the cost of doing business.

“I still think it’s going to be a challenge for small businesses. It’s an added expense and that money has to come from somewhere,” said Sheila Hall, executive director of the Clarington Board of Trade. “I really hope it doesn’t foster hiring freezes.”

The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce released a statement after the Province announced it would expand the comparability rules under the proposed pension plan. The Oshawa business association said it is encouraged by the government’s decision to expand the definition of comparability to include some defined contribution plans. The change means employers who already provide certain DC pension plans for their employees will be exempt from contributing to the new ORPP.

“However, the concern remains that the ORPP in its current form will have a negative impact on business competitiveness,” said Bob Malcolmson of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, in a press release.

Recent data from an Oshawa chamber survey indicates that if faced with mandatory increased contributions under the ORPP, 44 per cent of businesses would reduce their current payroll or hire fewer employees in the future.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:52 PM
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MEXICO

http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/pens...ributions-low/

Quote:
Mexico’s pension reforms have helped it improve financial stability but contributions must go up, says the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In the face of an aging population, contributions must increase to ensure the long-term health of the system, suggests Mexico’s Pension System, a study released by the organization on Thursday.

The reforms have brought in a system of individual defined contribution accounts for both federal employees and private-sector workers, and the intention is to gradually harmonize the rules covering all pension plans to establish a national system for all Mexicans.

OECD general secretary José Angel Gurría said Mexico’s pensions regulator, Consar, has helped improve the efficiency of the system, allowing it to become a tool to promote inclusion and well-being, for which pension systems are essential.

“The population of Mexico and Latin America is still rather young, there are eight workers per retiree. In the next decades, though, population will age: by 2030, there will be five workers per retiree,” he said.

In order to guarantee a pension equal to 50% of the worker’s final salary, compulsory contributions should be between 13% and 18%. But the current rate is 6%, the lowest among OECD nations.
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:21 PM
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SWEDEN

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/341b7ea4-7...#axzz3paFHyrXp

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October 25, 2015 4:40 am
Swedish pension chief executives condemn reforms

The heads of the four largest pension funds in Sweden have written an open letter to the government condemning proposed changes to the country’s public pension system.\

The letter is an embarrassment for the Swedish finance ministry, which said in June it would close one of the country’s five state pension funds and shut down the SKr23.6bn ($2.7bn) private equity-focused fund, known as AP6, to cut costs.

The funds, which were set up to meet potential shortfalls within the state pension system, have long been criticised for producing lacklustre returns and for their expensive management structure.

But the chief executives and chairmen of four of the funds have called the changes “short term” and “politically motivated” and said the overhaul would have a negative impact on investment performance, which would ultimately harm pensioners.
It is the strongest rebuttal yet of the government’s proposals for reform and the first time there has been a public, co-ordinated response from AP1, AP2, AP3, and AP4, which manage $142bn of pension assets.
.....

Per Bolund, Sweden’s financial markets minister, previously rejected the suggestion that the proposals could jeopardise Sweden’s pension framework. He told FTfm in August: “That is exaggerated. We would never suggest something that would harm the pension system.”

The AP funds were originally split into several smaller groups due to fears that one large scheme would become too dominant an investor in Sweden and too much of a political temptation.

The four funds fear the government’s plan to also create a national pension fund board to determine return targets and the investment strategy of the remaining funds would revive the threat of political interference.
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