Joan Burton TD, Minister for Social Protection has today launched the 2010 Actuarial Review of the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) which sets out the position of the fund as at December 31 2010 and presents projections covering a 55 year period from 2011 to 2066. The review also updates the 2005 Review taking into account policy, economic and demographic changes in the period since that review was undertaken.
The purpose of the Actuarial Review is to inform short, medium and long-term policy development in relation to the social insurance system and to consider the adequacy or otherwise of the current contributions to finance the various social insurance benefits and pensions.
Social insurance contributions (PRSI) are paid into the SIF which finances a broad range of payment benefits including short term benefits such as Maternity Benefit, Jobseeker’s Benefit, Carer’s Benefit or Illness Benefit as well as long term benefits such as pensions and other payments.
Joanna Tuffy, TD, chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection has reeived a copy of the review and the Minister said her officials will offer the committee a full briefing on the content of the report on September 20 2012.
Minister Burton welcomed the Review and said she believes that tge core principle of sustainable social insurance systems in advanced economies is that citizens receive benefits in proportion to their contributions “continues to hold true”. The shortfall in the Social Insurance Fund “and the prospect of acceleration of this deficit in the future, represents a daunting challenge which must be addressed. This publication provides a platform for understanding the dynamics of funding for social insurance and a basis on which policy options for the future sustainability of the Fund can be explored”, the Minister stressed.
The Minster also cautioned against the use of individual figures relating to longer term projections presented in the Review. Long-term projections are, by their very nature, difficult to predict. It is, however, the trends which emerge over time which provide a basis for assessing the health of the Fund. There is little doubt that the longer term trends are cause for serious concern. These trends provide an impetus to take the first steps towards re-assessing the long-term sustainability of the Social Insurance Fund which is both fair and equitable to those contributing to social insurance and those receiving and expecting to receive benefits from it.”