Fifth European Conference on. The State of the Welfare State in EU anno 1992 and 20 years later AUSTRIA. Josef Woess Chamber of Labor, Vienna

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1 Fifth European Conference on The State of the Welfare State in EU anno 1992 and 20 years later AUSTRIA Josef Woess Chamber of Labor, Vienna AUSTRIAN WELFARE STATE MAIN CHARACTERISTICS Bismarckian tradition High level of social protection Focus on cash benefits Strong social partners / social dialogue 1

2 POPULATION / AGE GROUPS , ,0 8,0 population in mio. 7,0 6,0 5,0 4,0 3,0 2,0 1,0 0, total in mio. people ,365 5,410 1,236 8, ,269 5,616 1,437 8, ,219 5,718 1,541 8,479 Source: AMECO database POPULATION / AGE STRUCTURE thousand Source: Statistik Austria 2

3 MAIN ECONOMIC INDICATORS average GDP growth (real) 2.19% 3.62% 1.55% % 1.88% 3.07% 0.88% 0.23% 0.30% GDP per capita (PPS, EU-28=100) Private consumption growth (real) 1.93% 1.05% 0.85% 0.58% 1.48% 0.70% 0.62% -0.14% 0.15% Public deficit % % -1.45% % % % % % % Public debt 66.3% 64.8% 68.5% 79.7% 82.4% 82.1% 81.5% 80.9% 84.5% Source: AMECO database RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS There have been 3 major packages of fiscal measures: Stimulus measures in 2008 and 2009: infrastructure investments, subsidised short-time work, income tax cuts Fiscal consolidation package in the beginning of 2011: expenditure cuts in many areas and some revenue enhancements (new bank levy, increase of tax on mineral oils) Fiscal consolidation package in the beginning of 2012: like in 2011 there were both measures on the expenditure and on the revenue side; this time, expenditure cuts were focused on specific areas such as pensions 3

4 EMPLOYMENT 4,4 employed persons full time equivalents 4,2 4,2 employed persons in mio. 4,0 3,8 3,6 3,4 3,8 3,3 3,6 3,2 3, Source: AMECO database EMPLOYMENT RATE BY AGE GROUP 100% 90% Emplyoment rate 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 68% 29% 71% 45% 0% Source: EUROSTAT 4

5 UNEMPLOYMENT national definition eurostat definition unemployment rate in percent national definition eurostat definition ,8% 3,6% ,9% 4,1% ,4% 5,6% Source: AMECO database/ STATISTICS AUSTRIA SOCIAL EXPENDITURE (% of GDP) ,6 29,7 28,9 29,2 29, ,7 27,9 27,

6 SOCIAL EXPENDITURE BY FUNCTION % of GDP 2000 = % 30% other % 20% housing/social exclusion unemployment family/children sickness ,6 145,5 162,3 invalidity ,2 116,9 122,7 old age ,6 159,7 181,6 survivors ,7 117,6 123,4 15% survivors family/children ,8 143,3 142,7 10% old age unemployment ,5 171,4 181,9 housing/social exclusion ,4 218,6 244,0 5% Invalidity total social expenditure ,2 148,0 162,8 0% sickness GDP ,7 138,0 151,3 Source: ESSOS, own calculations SOCIAL EXPENDITURE Nominal growth by age groups / per head (by age groups) 120% 109% 100% 80% 60% 82% 68% 73% 63% 40% 28% 20% 0% /64 60/65+ growth of social expenditures by age group growth of social expenditures per head by age group Source: ESSOS / Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs 6

7 PENSIONS OVERVIEW To a very high degree, old-age protection in Austria is focussed on public pensions (about 90 % of all pension payments) Generosity of public pension insurance has been reduced in recent years (for sustainability reasons) - yet, compared to international standards, it is still at a high level Based on the assumption of later retirement (at 65 instead of 60 as it was normal in the past), the public scheme offers high replacements rates for the next generation too. Occupational pensions and private pensions are of minor importance 7

8 STATUTORY PENSION INSURANCE Coverage: nearly all people in employment (+ credit for periods such as unempoyment, child care, etc) Benefits: old-age pensions, early retirement pensions, disability pensions and survivors pensions Pension formula: defined benefit Legal retirement age: 65 (men) / 60 (women)* Valorisation of benefits: in line with inflation Financing: pay-as-you-go (75% contribution / 25% taxes) Contribution rate: 22.8% (12.55 employer / 10.25% employee) * From 2024 onwards legal retirement age for women will be increased to reach 65 in MAIN REFORMS Main changes in public schemes: Extension of assessment base (best 15 years lifelong earnings) Reduction of pension credit per year of insurance (2% 1.78% of earnings) Raise of deduction for early retirement (3% 5.1% per year) Restricting access to early retirement (60 62 for men / 55 62* for women) Launch of individual (notional) pension accounts transfer of acquired rights into these accounts Alignment of civil servants pension rights with pension rights of other employees (full effect for new entrants from 2005 onwards) * early retirement at the age of 62 will be relevant for women as soon as legal retirement alignment will exceed this age 8

9 EFFECTIVE RETIREMENT AGE All pensions (incl disability) Old age and early retirement pensions M F M F ,8 58,6 63,2 59,8 Source: Hauptverband, Handbuch der öst. Sozialversicherung 2015 LEVEL OF PUBLIC PENSIONS STATUTORY PENSION INSURANCE / OLD-AGE PENSIONS AWARDED IN 2013* MEN WOMEN 25% 50% 75% 25% 50% 75% get less than. Euro per month (gross) Blue-collar workers White-collar workers Selfemployed Farmers * Incl pension supplement ( Ausgleichszulage ) for those in need; 14 payments per year Source: Hauptverband, Statistisches Handbuch der öst. SV

10 OCCUPATIONAL PENSIONS In the 1980 s, company pensions schemes only covered about 10% of the workforce (mainly book reserve schemes) In the past 2 decades, coverage has been extended; at present it is about 30 % (mainly pension fund schemes) Most company pension schemes are based on voluntary work s agreements (binding collective branch agreements are very rare) Providers: pension funds ( Pensionskasse ) insurance companies ( Kollektivversicherung ) employers / book reserve schemes ( Direktzusage ) (Mainly) Defined contribution Employers contribution: 2 % on average (estimate) MAIN ISSUES (Further) Reform of public schemes? Accelerated alignment of women retirement age? General raise of legal retirement age? Increasing employment rates of older workers Reducing pension gender gap Future role of occupational and private pensions 10

11 VIEW OF SOCIAL PARTNERS Trade unions traditionally favor public pensions with pay-asyou-go financing (scepticism towards investment risks of funded schemes) and strictly oppose both further cuts and raising legal retirement age; focus on good labour market integration of those of working age Employers organisations criticise high public spending on pensions and argue that public pension reforms implemented so far are not enough to ensure long-term sustainability. Company pensions should remain voluntarily. LONG-TERM PROJECTIONS 11

12 Austria POPULATION FORECAST In Mio ,72 5,82 5,76 5,73 5,72 2,64 2,66 2,19 1,72 1,55 1,22 1,28 1,36 1,34 1, Source: Eurostat/EU Ageing Report 2015 SOCIAL EXPENDITURE Pension benefit ratio (% of earnings) Pension expenditure (% of GDP) Health expenditure (% of GDP) Long-term care expenditure (% of GDP) % 13.9 % 6.9 % 1.4 % % 13.9 % 7.2 % 1.5 % % 14.4 % 7.6 % 1.8 % % 14.7 % 7.9 % 2.1 % % 14.6 % 8.2 % 2.5 % % 14.4 % 8.2 % 2.7 % Source: EU-Commission, Ageing Report

13 FINAL REMARKS So far, the Austrian welfare state has proven rather robust in the context of financial crisis and subsequent austerity (with its negative impact on investment, economic growth and employment) Despite wide-ranging pension reforms passed through parliament in the past two decades the call for pension reform still dominates public debate on social policy (even currently projected slight increase of public pension expenditure is judged to be unsustainable!) The real issue is the labour market high unemployment, deficits in professional education, problems to reconcile employment and private life, poor opportunities for older workers, ageing workforce, etc Raising employment levels [with quality jobs] is arguably the most effective strategy with which countries can prepare for population ageing [and for maintaining the welfare state] - EU-Comission, Demography Report

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