Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

The perils of an ageing population

November 10th, 2015

A left-wing commentator ponders the implications of recent demographic trends, and finds it unlikely that Hungarians could work or save more in order to compensate for the increasing ratio of dependants.

In Népszabadság, István Tanács wonders how Hungarian society can deal with an increasingly ageing population. In light of recent demographic trends (see BudaPost November 7), it seems unlikely that the current pension system can be sustained, the left-wing columnist points out. As the ratio of pensioners to people of working age increases, Hungarians are advised to save for their retirement or work longer. Tanács, however, is sceptical whether Hungarians can work until the age of 70. The longer senior employees postpone retirement, the harder it will become for young Hungarians to get a job. Tanács also doubts if Hungarians are willing to save money to cushion their old age. First, wages are too low, so few employees can afford to pile up reserves, Tanács contends. In addition, Hungarians have little trust in future savings, he adds. The past century of Hungarian history suggests that savings can be confiscated or lost – the last illustration of which was the 2008 financial crisis. For Hungarians, only immediate aims and concerns seem to matter, and not much consideration is given to problems that may occur in the distant future, Tanács concludes.