Ageing population serious challenge for public finances
Slovenia, which is among countries with the highest risks regarding public finances because of its ageing population, will have to draft comprehensive changes to tackle the issue, said Aleš Delakorda of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD).
The whole of Europe is pondering how to secure finances to face these issues and systemic measures will be needed to address the issue, stressed Zoran Stančič, the head of European Commission Representation in Slovenia, which organised the conference together with IMAD.
Delakorda meanwhile noted that IMAD, the government macroeconomic think-tank, had drafted a wide range of measures, but employers as well as employees would have to start thinking differently too.
Measures related to the labour market and social care alone will not be enough, he said and added that measures to ensure long-term potential of the economy and increased prosperity would also have to be carried.
European Commission's long-term projections indicate that in Slovenia the expenditure for pensions, healthcare and long-term care could rise by 2060 to a quarter of the country's GDP unless policies in the fields change. The share stood at 18.9% of GDP in 2013. Pensions alone cost the state about EUR 1.4bn a year, IMAD boss Boštjan Vasle explained.
The Institute for Economic Research, the Slovenian partner of the Swiss institute IMD, meanwhile said that Slovenian people should be better informed of how the pension system worked.
A system of "constantly providing information to the public" should be set up, explained Boris Majcen of the institute, as these issues concern everybody.
Foreign experts meanwhile presented some ideas that had been implemented or were deliberated in their countries. German Finance Ministry's Werner Ebert said that measures such as linking pensions to life expectancy were debated in his country.
This was echoed by Anda Patarau of the European Commission's Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, who said systems for linking pensions to life expectancy had proven very efficient in EU members that had implemented them.
"It is desirable to think along these guidelines in planing pension reforms," she added.