State May Escape Pension Burden, Retirees Vulnerable

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Swedbank says Estonia's pension system may escape trouble in the decades ahead due to the hard economic truth - no one is guaranteed an absolute amount of pension and it is inevitable that the state's burden in making payouts will decrease.

"When we look at today's situation, the pensions paid by the state will inevitably decrease in the future and the situation is especially urgent in Western welfare societies," the bank's PR director Mart Siilivask told

Unlike those systems, Estonia's state pension system may not run into direct difficulties as the state has not promised definite sums, and this gives us more maneuvering room," said Siilivask.

"The state's role in ensuring income for a pension is gradually decreasing and the second pillar is replacing the diminishing benefits of the first pillar," he said, referring to the system where the state matches the contribution for those under a certain age.

The first pillar is a system where pensions are paid from social taxes. Like the rest of the world, Estonia has moved toward putting more of the responsibility on the pensioner - retirement funds.

The second pillar depends on what the taxpayer earns and the third, on retirement fund yield.

However, many people have not yet embraced these opportunities.

"Today, over half of Estonians do not make long-term financial goals and regular saving into the third pillar is used to a low extent, as a result of which keeping the earlier quality of life in retirement is complicated with only two pillars," said Siilivask.

"To increase people's capability to make adequate decisions that affect them after decades, it is important to raise overall awareness and promote savings and investment culture."


Kristopher Rikken

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