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Pension big bang on the horizon

Which country has the best pension system? That's the question the UK's Andrew Clark recently asked in an on-line debate on the OECD's web site. None of the four experts wanted to answer, until finally they said, "That's a tricky question." They went on to explain that it depends on what criteria we use.

Which country has the best pension system? That's the question the UK's Andrew Clark recently asked in an on-line debate on the OECD's web site. None of the four experts wanted to answer, until finally they said, „That's a tricky question.“ They went on to explain that it depends on what criteria we use.

Are we looking for a system where the pensions get the closest to people's original salaries? In that case, the best examples would be in Greece and Luxembourg. But for the state, such systems are very difficult to sustain. Or are we looking for a system that does the best job at looking after the poor? Then we would have to choose the egalitarian systems in Ireland, New Zealand, or the base-level pension system in Great Britain. Or are we after the greatest distribution of the pension income? In that case, Sweden, where seniors have five equal sources of pension income, is doing the best job."

The Czech pension reform commission will soon need to try and answer this same „tricky“ question. The number of political heavyweights involved indicates the gravity of the situation. The liberal Vlastimil Tlustý will sit alongside Labour and Social Affairs Minister Petr Nečas. Across from them will be Social Democrats Zdeněk Škromach and Bohuslav Sobotka. And somewhere between these two camps will be the Greens and the Christian Democrats. Sticking out like a sore thumb in the commission will be the Communists, the only political group that continues to deny the…

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