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"The time is serious for social security" - Economic Policy

“The time is serious for social security” – Economic Policy

Social security is doing badly, warns the Federation of Belgian Enterprises on Thursday. The FEB fears a deficit of 4 billion euros in 2022, or even 10 billion within five years. Aging of the population, “extremely high” number of inactive workers, short careers and low employment rate… the financing of the system faces many challenges.

These concerns were the subject of a conference organized by the FEB on Thursday, with the aim of drawing attention to the challenges facing the social security system.

For the federation, reaching an employment rate of 80% by 2030 is the best way to ensure the financial viability of Belgian social security. Concretely, this means that 600,000 additional people must be put to work.

To achieve this, “more numerous and thorough” measures must be taken to reform the labor market. The FEB highlights five themes: simplify regulations to obtain a clear and transparent system; analyze social security management; make work more rewarding and more attractive for building up pensions; ensure that the system social security is “responsibilizing and make people less dependent”; and restoring a balance between solidarity and insurance.

“The foundations of Belgian social security are shaken, and we are watching without moving”, declare Pieter Timmermans and Monica De Jonge, respectively CEO and General Manager of the FEB. “We spend more and more without thinking who will pay bottom line, as the cost of aging continues to rise and the 80% continued employment rate is further away than ever. We must urgently renovate our social security, make it more ‘responsibilizing’ and extract the anomalies from it, otherwise it risks bankruptcy, with all the catastrophic consequences that this would entail.”

These concerns were the subject of a conference organized by the FEB on Thursday, with the aim of drawing attention to the challenges facing the social security system. For the federation, reaching an employment rate of 80% by 2030 is the best way to ensure the financial viability of Belgian social security. Concretely, this means that 600,000 additional people must be put to work. To achieve this, “more numerous and deeper” measures must be taken to reform the labor market. The FEB puts forward five themes: simplifying the regulations to obtain a clear and transparent system; analyze social security management; make work more rewarding and more attractive for building up pensions; making the social security system “empowering and making people less dependent”; and restoring a balance between solidarity and assurance. “The foundations of Belgian social security are shaken, and we are watching without moving”, declare Pieter Timmermans and Monica De Jonge, respectively CEO and General Manager of the FEB. “We are spending more and more without thinking about who is going to pay in the end, while the cost of aging continues to rise and the continued employment rate of 80% is further away than ever. urgently renovate our social security, make it more ‘responsibilizing’ and extract anomalies from it, otherwise it risks bankruptcy, with all the catastrophic consequences that this would entail.”

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