Pension reform

“A fair retirement system and dignified life for pensioners!“

Introduction

Pension insurance is the most important component of the social safety net. The primary goal of pension reform is to ensure that all current and future pensioners receive sufficient benefits to live peaceful and dignified lives, that they are able to maintain a reasonable standard of living and can take part in the public, social, economic and cultural life of society. At the same time, the retirement system must be perceived as fair and just by the majority of the Czech public, regardless of age, gender, or social and economic standing, and that it be sustainable over the long run. This goal cannot be achieved by achieved merely by altering the system itself. Reform must be viewed more broadly, particularly in relation to the labor market and demographic trends which are in turn affected by the retirement system.

ČSSD is prepared to assume its share of responsibility in formulating and implementing pension reform conceived in such manner. Reform is necessary because the retirement system in its current form creates unfair and unjustified differences between employees and the self-employed, between people with higher and lower incomes, people caring or not caring for children; it fails to take into account the individualization and instability of work careers, or that some jobs are extremely difficult. Pension reform must also take into account the demographic changes of a population which is living longer. Not even the “third pillar” of government contributions to individual pension plans serves its intended purpose, it is merely subsidized saving with no actual impact on the ultimate levels of pension benefits.

A pre-requisite for the long-term sustainability of reform is the right approach to drafting such legislation, which should involve the governing party, the parliamentary opposition, and the professional and lay public. It is necessary to realize that pension reform is not a one-time process. ČSSD would therefore like to create a permanent advisory body comprised of broad spectrum of leading experts, social partners, and generally acknowledged figures.

This body would submit proposals and build on the work of both Bezdek commissions, carry out tasks approved across the political spectrum, be sufficiently equipped and offer its conclusions for further expert and public discussion with the long-term goal of adapting the retirement system to the needs of our developing society, similar to the permanent advisory council in France (Conseil d´orientation), so that we may come to a national consensus as quickly as possible.

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