Slovenia, like other developed countries, faces the challenges of a long-lived society. The age structure of the population is changing rapidly, the share of the elderly is increasing and at the same time the share of the active population is decreasing. Demographic changes are a fact that we cannot escape. If we could turn a blind eye a few years ago, today we are already feeling the consequences both in the labor market and in the areas of financing social security systems. In the short term, the consequences of an aging population can be partially mitigated with an effective migration policy, which also brings many challenges in itself, but we cannot avoid the need to adapt our social security systems, both in terms of operating methods and financing methods.

Our time is slowly running out. Ahead of us are key reforms of both the health and pension systems, and we are awaiting the introduction and implementation of the long-term care system. These are the most important systems of ensuring economic security in society, which have wider social significance, as they also ensure intergenerational solidarity and, above all, social cohesiveness. The decisions we make today will have a significant impact on how we will live as a society in the future.

The following participated in the discussion:

– dr. Boris Majcen, Institute for Economic Research
-prof. dr. Polona Domadenik Muren, Faculty of Economics UNI LJ
-dr. Andraž Rangus, head of the White Book on Pensions 2016 project, ZPIZ
-Tilen Božič, former state secretary at the Ministry of Finance
-Gregor Rovanšek, president of the board Prva Pokojninska družba, d.d.
-Bojan Ivanc, head of the analytical group at GZS
-Jakob Počivavšek, president of KSS PERGAM

“In 2019, total expenditure as a share of GDP for pensions, healthcare and long-term care was 16.9%, in 2030 this should grow to 19.7% and in 2070 to 25.7%. It is obvious that without changes, the financial system will not be able to withstand this.”

– dr. Boris Majcen

“We can increase GDP in two ways. One way is to increase productivity per employee. The other aspect of increasing GDP is labor activity.”

-red. prof. dr. Polona Domadenik Muren

Discussants agreed that the challenges of a long-lived society would need to relate to interconnected systems – ie. the pension, health and long-term care system should be treated in a connected manner, and in no way separate and partial, sectoral. At the state level, it would be necessary to agree on what we want and we should determine the necessary financial resources and also the ratio between public and private resources. For this purpose, we would urgently need a new social contract.

Some Slovenian media also reported on the event. You can read more about it at the links below:

You can watch the entire recording of the event in the video below: