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Wednesday 18.07.2018 | Name days: Rozālija, Roze
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Social anthropologist: people must save for pensions, not go to water theme parks

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Roberts Kilis

It is unlikely mere explanations of the importance of deposits will be enough for people to understand how import it is to consider their old-age days. There should be structural reforms and aggressive instruments, making someone with spare 20 lats not to go to a water theme park but place the sum in deposits for his or her pension, says Roberts Kilis, social anthropologist.

Similarly, he also points out the first-tier of pensions should be revised and people should be aware not everything can be taken for granted.

Kilis stresses pensions will always exist in one or another form regardless the current ongoing processes. The main issue is about elderly people. The expert adds that there are hardly any hopes pension payments could grow and future pensions will amount to 40-50% less than the current ones.

Welfare Minister Ilona Jursevska points out salaries in Latvia are not big enough to make savings and she sees this accompanied with insufficient contributions to the social system as the most soaring issue of the country.

She stresses in order to arrange the special budget, first and foremost, it must be freed from things that are not supposed to be there, for example, bonuses should be restructured instead of doing away with them.

Shadow economy is yet another painful issue, Welfare Minister says, adding that only 800 000 people from 1.4 million working age people pay social taxes. Even if we assume that 200 000 people have left Latvia, we still miss out on 200-300 000.

Similarly, also Harijs Svarcs, Swedbank expert, stresses people need to be aware future pensions will be smaller than today and the only solution to this is making savings. He believes the third-tier of pensions should be activated, so that at least those who can afford to save – do it. In terms of people with minimum wages, Svarcs points out there will be additional state support mechanisms developed by that time in order not to neglect these people.

Kilis pointed out at the end of the discussion no one will escape pension issue, even those who have left Latvia. People grow old in every part of the world, he says.


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