Alistair Berg/Getty Images

Das schleichende Debakel der staatlichen Renten

LONDON – Würden die Industriestaaten rational und im Interesse ihrer Wähler handeln, die verstehen wollen, wie ihre Steuergelder ausgegeben werden, würden sie das Renteneintrittsalter auf 70 Jahre oder mehr erhöhen. Aber in den meisten dieser Länder liegt es unterhalb dieser Marke, und trotz einiger Fortschritte werden sie Jahrzehnte brauchen, um aufholen zu können. Bis dahin werden die westlichen Wohlfahrtsstaaten finanziell unrentabel, wirtschaftlich krank und politisch unter Druck bleiben.

Die demographische Alterung ist das soziale und wirtschaftliche Äquivalent zum Klimawandel: ein Problem, von dem wir alle wissen, dass es gelöst werden muss, aber dessen Lösung wir lieber den zukünftigen Generationen überlassen würden. Der Impuls, Dinge auf später aufzuschieben, ist angesichts der aktuellen wirtschaftlichen und politischen Probleme verständlich, aber bei den staatlichen Renten hat dies einen hohen Preis – noch höher als im Fall des Klimawandels.

1970 lag das durchschnittliche effektive Renteneintrittsalter französischer Arbeiter bei 67 Jahren, was etwa der damaligen Lebenserwartung für Männer entsprach. Heute liegt das effektive Rentenalter dort etwas unter 60 Jahren, obwohl die männliche Lebenserwartung auf fast 83 Jahre gestiegen ist (das offizielle Renteneintrittsalter liegt bei 65 Jahren, aber in der Praxis können die Renten weit früher in Anspruch genommen werden).

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