[Columna] ¡Pensiones ahora! CIAH | Universidad Mayor
27 November 2019

[Column] Pensions now!

Check the column of the Director of the Center for Economics and Social Policies in La Tercera

According to the Social Thermometer survey (October 2019), 91% of the population puts pensions and retirement as the most important demand, and 49% as the first priority to reform. These are not emotional drives, they are a reality. 50% of the 743,000 self-financed pensions (from the AFP system) paid in September 2019 were less than $ 134,800 ($ 154,000 with the APS -Solidarity Pension Contribution-). For the 30,000 people who contributed 35-40 years, 50% are under $ 458,000 (with and without APS).

The Constitution of 80s ensures in its text the right to social security (art. 19, number 18), although this Charter does not like the State if it can force it to contribute. Additionally, a social security system has the principles of solidarity and sufficiency (among others). The first, "each person must make a contribution according to their economic capacity so that, together with the contribution of others, they can then face the states of need that they themselves may suffer." The second, "benefits must ensure continuity and maintenance of the consumption capacity of the person affected by the risk or social contingency" (Silva Gallinato, 2017). That is, we are required by law to quote in the AFPs (DL 3500), although this is not a social security system. What does correspond to social security is the non-contributory pillar (“Solidarity Pension System”, SPS, Law 20,255).

In this regard, I believe that progress should be made in: 1) Using the 4-5% employer contribution for the creation of a public (autonomous) social security system in the contributory pillar (new Law), which can even double the Self-funded pension expenditure today (supplemented by a contribution to the reserve fund). 2) Universalize the non-contributory pillar (SPS) to 100% of those who have not contributed, with the corresponding increase in the APS to avoid disincentives to contribute (alternatively extend PBS to the entire population and eliminate the APS). This would increase public spending on pensions by approximately 1.5% of GDP, which can be financed with 1.58% of GDP that we still spend on the old system that will gradually disappear. 3) Unlock the obligation to contribute to the AFPs (it needs 3/5 of the Congress) with the creation of a public (autonomous) collective savings alternative (with redistribution of risks and subsidies), which allows people to choose not to save on the current AFPs, or as in Uruguay, leave the obligation of individual savings of a part of the contribution only for those with higher incomes.

All this can end in the Constitutional Court and lose, but it is not unconstitutional in strict rigor, since it allows to create mandatory contributions and autonomy is given to “the public”. All this could mean a significant political and social advance today.

Original source: La Tercera

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Centro de Economía y Políticas Sociales, U. Mayor

José Toribio Medina 29

+56 22518 9709|ceas@umayor.cl