If You Won't Do It, It Will Be Done For You

Gosh, I can't believe this hasn't been working out: Pension Glut Lies at Heart of Crisis Wracking Hungary
Hungary, a nation of 10 million, has three million pensioners. Besides
writing checks for regular retirees, the government gives special benefits to
accident victims, the disabled, military and police veterans, mayors, widows,
farmers, miners and "excellent and recognized" artists. The average Hungarian
retires at 58, and just 14% of Hungarians between 60 and 64 are working,
compared with more than half of Americans.
There are just 4 million Hungarians working to support the pensions of 3 million. Hungary has funded these pensions through bond sales, but people are no longer buying Hungarian bonds. The pensions themselves are ridiculously generous. Pensioners from higher income work receive a higher percentage of their working pay from their pension payments, for example.

The very idea that the pensions might need to be reined in is already causing political upheaval in Hungary. The linked article has the usual quotes from querelous old folks. You would think the first rule of reforming a pension program would be to immediately make it non-negotiable that pensions not be taken from people over, say 65 years old. The ones who need to be reformed (i.e. eliminated) are the pensions for middle aged, but able bodied, adults who would just as soon keep coasting, if at all possible.

The pensions are a legacy from Hungary's communist past, reason enough to reform them. If Hungarians decide they need to dig in their heels, then pretty soon nobody - old folks or limping 40-year olds - will have pensions.

Best Retirement Invesments Auto Search