إنقاذ معاشات التقاعد

كمبريدج ــ إن برامج معاشات التقاعد العامة تواجه متاعب مالية في مختلف انحاء العالم. فبسبب الزيادة المستمرة في متوسط العمر المتوقع، ترتفع أعداد المتقاعدين المستحقين بسرعة أكبر من الزيادة في الإيرادات الضريبية المتاحة لتمويل معاشات التقاعد.

ويتوقع مكتب الموازنة في الكونجرس الأميركي ارتفاع التكلفة النسبية لمستحقات معاشات تقاعد المسنين في إطار برنامج الضمان الاجتماعي بأكثر من الربع على مدى السنوات الخمس والعشرين المقبلة، من 4.9% من الناتج المحلي الإجمالي اليوم إلى 6.2% في عام 2038. ولأن الضرائب المخصصة لدعم الضمان الاجتماعي لا ترتفع تلقائياً بسرعة أكبر من زيادة الناتج المحلي الإجمالي، فلابد من خفض معدل نمو المستحقات أو زيادة معدلات الضرائب.

وينبع أحد الأسباب وراء الزيادة السريعة في تكاليف المستحقات من الطيفية التي يتم بها تعديلها وفقاً للتضخم. فبموجب القانون المعمول به في الولايات المتحدة حالياً يتم تعديل مستحقات المتقاعدين تلقائياً بحيث تغطي الزيادات في مؤشر أسعار المستهلك التقليدي. ولكن الخبراء كانوا يدركون لفترة طويلة أن مؤشر أسعار المستهلك يبالغ في تقدير الزيادة الحقيقية في تكاليف المعيشة، وأن المبالغة في تقدير المستحقات نتيجة لذلك لابد أن يتم إصلاحها.

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