|On 27 January, the moderator of the EDG on Pension Schemes met Anne Harrison in Paris for a working lunch to discuss, among other things, six questions related to the 1993 SNA view and terminology in the area of social insurance :
1. The delineation between savings schemes and social insurance schemes;
2. The distinction between defined-contribution and defined-benefit schemes;
3. Funded and unfunded schemes: notion of segregated assets and own assets; cases related to government schemes; consolidation issues;
4. The notion of over and under funded schemes;
5. The question of autonomy and segregation of funds;
6. Social security versus social insurance.
This paper is structured minutes of the discussion; any mistakes are the sole responsibility of the interviewer.
Anne Harrison also indicates other issues to be considered by the EDG on Pension Schemes: the question of imputing liabilities for unfunded schemes, for government certainly but possibly in other circumstances also; the question of some extension to the concept of social insurance, for example to cover provisions made by self-employed persons; given the growing anxiety in at least some European countries about the difficulties of funding pensions for an ageing population, perhaps some more schemes which are specifically pension related could and should be included. By reference to the discussed question of over and under funded schemes, the question of who owns the element of over funding or of who is responsible for payments due but which are underfunded needs resolving. Having in mind that the 1993 SNA suggests that for unfunded schemes, contributions and benefits may be set equal but not if demographic conditions suggest this is imprudent, the exact means of recording an excess of imputed contributions over actual benefits should be explored. Clarification on these issues would help analysts study what is already a field of growing concern and whose importance is likely to increase in the future.
Anne Harrison (OECD) wrote the Annex IV of the 1993 SNA on The treatment of insurance, social insurance and pensions.
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