Portugal can be considered as one of the best examples of the probable future
situation formost European
everybody knows, even if some people pretend not to know it, the social
security’s current financing system is unsustainable.The period of
workers’ contributions is clearly not long enough to cover the expenses during the
retirement time, a time that lasts longer and longer due to a higher life
expectancy. In fact, in Switzerland, it isreckoned that
people will live 120 years in a near future.
long as our system does not want or is not able to find some other financing
sources, the only solution will be the extension of the period of
Government has tried to tackle this problem by fixing at 65 years the standard
affects all the civil servants, a sector that represents 20% of all Portuguese
workers, and that plays a key role in the country’s life.
Prior to this
new system, and alleging some different reasons (some fair, some others not), a
civil servant could retire at 60, and in some specific cases the retirement
could take place at 50. Contrary to what happens with the rest of the workers,
their received a pension equivalent to the amount of the salary earned in the
last month of service. However, in the general system, the retirement pension
only reaches 80% of the average wage earned during the last ten years of
this government’s new system have already started. Teachers and nurses have gone
on strikes, the army, the police and the civil servants have demonstrated
against it, and these last and the judges will probably go on strike.
elections will take place in October, we will not have a solution for the
problem before this date. The Government knows that most of the workers consider
this standardization something fair and necessary.
But, while we
are worried by this complicated situation, we forget about another problem that
affects all retired people. The general tax deduction for retired people has
gone from 8000 to 3000, which means a considerable rise in the amount of taxes
they will have to pay.
This is the
current situation but, going a bit further, it is not ridiculous to think
that when everyone calms down, retirement age will reach 70
Will it stop there?
Besides, bearing in mind the drop or cancellation of co-financing measures
regarding drugs and medical services, and the VAT raise from 19% to 21%,
it is obvious that those with little means will be the ones who will
suffer the most. Unfortunately, retired people are part of this
The moment has come for
us, retired people, to ask ourselves some questions:
being a big group within society, we are not able to avoid the worsening
of our pensions.
being the weakest link, is there anything we can do in order to change
From my point of view,
it is possible to use lobbying tactics in order to see the creation, for
instance, of a Public Department of Third Age, similar to the one that is
already in place for youth.
Those working at the national
or European decision-making levels are the ones able to force the governments to
pay close attention to third age’s problems.
President of Montepio