3 European Countries Grab at Private Pensions
Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland call for citizens' savings
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 3, 2011 2:51 PM CST
FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2010 file photo, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives for a EU summit in Brussels, Belgium. Hungary's democratic credentials are under scrutiny as it prepares to assume...   (AP Photo/Thierry Charlier, File)

(Newser) – As European governments seek new sources of revenue, private retirement plans are taking a hit. Since most are organized by the state, "European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends," writes Jan Iwanik for the Christian Science Monitor. Iwanick highlights five such schemes:

  • Hungarians last month had to choose between handing the government their retirement savings or giving up their state pensions.
  • In Bulgaria, the government called for $300 million of private early retirement savings to be moved to state pensions; trade union protests weakened the plan.

  • The Polish government wants a third of future private retirement fund contributions to go to social security.
Not a matter of personal savings, but related to national funds:
  • In Ireland, the government earmarked some $5 billion of a national pension fund to save banks in 2009; this year, the rest of that fund was spent on the country’s bailout.
  • France earmarked some $43 billion from the government’s reserve pension fund to cut a short-term pension deficit. Retirement savings that was to be used in the years 2020 to 2040 will now be used between 2011 and 2024.

 

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
3%
6%
2%
10%
6%
74%