《经济学人》:要么70岁退休,要么破产!
日期:2011-05-17 10:31

(单词翻译:单击)

Current plans to raise the retirement age are not bold enough
目前提高退休年龄的计划不够大胆

PUT aside the cruise brochures and let the garden retain that natural look for a few more years. Demography and declining investment returns are conspiring to keep you at your desk far longer than you ever expected.

先将海上巡游的宣传册放一放,让花园的自然面貌多保持几年吧!人口结构和日益减少的投资回报导致你要工作长得多的时间,超出你以往的预期。

This painful truth is no longer news in the rich world, and many governments have started to deal with the ageing problem. They have announced increases in the official retirement age that attempt to hold down the costs of state pensions while encouraging workers to stay in their jobs or get on their bikes and look for new ones.

这一痛苦的事实在发达国家已经不是什么新闻,许多政府已经开始处理老龄化问题。它们已经宣布提高正式的退休年龄,一方面试图控制国家养老金的成本,另一方面又鼓励工人坚守岗位或骑车寻找新的工作。

Unfortunately, the boldest plans look inadequate. Older people are going to have to stay economically active longer than governments currently envisage; and that is going to require not just governments, but also employers and workers, to behave differently.

不幸的是,最大胆的计划看上去也还不够。老年人要继续积极参与创造经济效应的时间要比政府当前设想的要长。这将要求各政府、雇主和工人都采取不同的行动。

Trying, but not very hard在尝试,但未竭尽全力
Since 1971 the life expectancy of the average 65-year-old in the rich world has improved by four to five years. By 2050, forecasts suggest, they will add a further three years on top of that. Until now, people have converted all that extra lifespan into leisure time. The average retirement age in the OECD in 2010 was 63, almost one year lower than in 1970.

自1971年以来,发达国家的平均预期寿命在65岁的基础上增加了4-5岁。到2050年,据预测,在此基础上将进一步增加3岁。迄今为止,人们把这些增加的寿命全部变成了休闲时间。2010年,经合组织成员国的平均退休年龄为63岁,几乎比1970年时低一岁。

Living longer, and retiring early, might not be a problem if the supply of workers were increasing. But declining fertility rates imply that by 2050 there will be just 2.6 American workers supporting each pensioner and the figures for France, Germany and Italy will be 1.9, 1.6 and 1.5 respectively. The young will be shoring up pensions systems which, as our special report this week explains, are riddled with problems.

要是工人的供应在增加,那么长寿命,早退休可能就不是问题了。但是下降的生育率表明,到2050年每位养老金领取者只有2.6个美国工人支持了,法国、德国和意大利的这一数字到时将分别是1.9、1.6和1.5。年轻人将为养老金制度提供支持,但正如我们的本周特别报道所述,养老金制度充满问题。

Most governments are already planning increases in the retirement age. America is heading for 67, Britain for 68. Others are moving more slowly. Belgium allows women to retire at 60, for instance, and has no plans to change that. Under current policies the mean retirement age by 2050 will still be less than 65, barely higher than it was after the second world war.

大多数政府已经计划提高退休年龄。美国准备提高到67岁,英国准备提高到68岁。其他国家的行动更加缓慢。比如,比利时的女性60岁就可以退休,而且并没有计划改变这种情况。根据目前的政策,到2050年,平均的退休年龄将仍然低于65岁,与二战后的退休年龄没有什么差别。

Because life expectancy continues to rise—people in rich countries are gaining a little under a month a year—even the American and British plans are inadequate. In Europe the retirement age should be raised to 70 by 2040; America, with a younger population, can afford to keep it a smidgen lower.

由于预期寿命持续增长——发达国家的人们的寿命每年增长不到一个月——美国和英国的计划也还不够。到2040年,欧洲的退休年龄必须提高到70岁;由于美国的人口较年轻,退休年龄可以稍低一点。

Working longer has three great advantages. The employee gets more years of wages; the government receives more in taxes and pays out less in benefits; and the economy grows faster as more people work for longer. Older workers are a neglected consumer market, as our briefing on the media’s ageing audiences explains (see article).

工作更长时间有三大优势。受雇的人可以多领取几年的工资,政府可以获得更多的税收,减少福利方面的开支,更多的人工作更长的时间,经济增长就会更快。正如我们有关媒体的老年人观众的精粹所述,较年老的工人是一个被人忽视的消费者市场。

Yet too many people see longer working lives as a worry rather than an opportunity—and not just because they are going to be chained to their desks. Some fret that there will not be enough jobs to go around. This misapprehension, known to economists as the “lump of labour fallacy” , was once used to argue that women should stay at home and leave all the jobs for breadwinning males. Now lump-of-labourites say that keeping the old at work would deprive the young of employment. The idea that society can become more prosperous by paying more of its citizens to be idle is clearly nonsensical. On that reasoning, if the retirement age came down to 25 we would all be as rich as Croesus.

但是许多人将更长的工作时间视为一项忧虑而不是一个机会,这不仅仅是因为他们将继续工作。一些人担忧,工作岗位将不足。这种误解曾经被用来辩称,女人应该主持家务,养家糊口是男人的事。经济学家将这种误解称为“劳动总量固定”。现在劳动总量固定论者表示让老人继续工作会使年轻人无法就业。为公民提供更多的养老金,让他们无所事事,社会就会更加繁荣,这种想法显然荒唐的。按照这种逻辑,如果退休年龄降到25岁,我们都和克罗伊斯(注:吕底亚最后一代国王,以财富甚多闻名)一样富裕了。

Raising the official retirement age is only part of the solution, for many workers retire before the official age. Martin Baily and Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute in Washington, DC, reckon that raising actual EU retirement ages to the official age would offset the impact of an ageing population over the next 20 years.

提高正式的退休年龄只能解决部分问题,因为许多工人都提前退休了。华盛顿特区的皮德森研究所的马丁??贝利和雅克布??克柯佳德推算,将欧盟的实际退休年龄提高到正式的退休年龄将抵消今后20年老龄化所带来的影响。

For that to happen, working practices and attitudes need to change. Western managers worry too much about the quality of older workers (see Schumpeter). In physically demanding occupations, it is true, some may be unable to work into their late 60s. The incapacitated will need disability benefits. Others will need to find a different job. But this should be less of a problem than it used to be now that economies are based on services not manufacturing. In knowledge-based jobs, age is less of a disadvantage. Although older people reason more slowly, they have more experience and, by and large, better personal skills. Even so, most people’s productivity does eventually decline with age; and pay needs to reflect this falling-off. Traditional seniority systems, under which people get promoted and paid more as they age, therefore need to change.

要使这种情况变为现实,工作惯例和态度必须改变。西方管理人员对较年老的工人的素质过于担忧。在需要体力的岗位上,一些人工作到近70岁可能就无法工作了,这是事实。残疾人将需要残疾补助。其他人需要寻找不同的工作。但是由于现在的经济以服务业,而不是以制造业为基础,与以往相比,这应该不是什么问题了。在以知识为基础的岗位上,年老并不是什么劣势。尽管较年老的人反应较迟缓,但是他们经验丰富,总体而言,拥有更好的个人技术。尽管如此,大多数人随着年龄的增长,生产率确实最终会下降,工资可以根据生产率下降的情况来定。因此传统的资历制度必须改变,按照这种制度,人们随着年龄的增长而获得提拨并获得更高的工资。

The missing $3 trillion 3万亿美元的缺额
The huge cost of pension schemes is being dealt with in the private sector. Final-salary schemes are hardly ever offered to new employees these days. In the public sector, however, they are still standard. In Britain the recent report by Lord Hutton made some sensible suggestions for reform (see article). The accrued rights of workers should be maintained but their future pension rights should be based on the state retirement age (many public-sector workers currently retire early) and on a career average, rather than final, salary. That would both prevent abuses and make part-time working easier.

私营部门已经着手处理养老金计划的巨大成本。如今,新招收的员工几乎已经无法享受到按最终工资领取养老金的计划了。但是,在公共部门,它们仍然是标准。在英国,赫顿勋爵在最近发表的最近报告中提出了一些合理的改革建议。应该保持工人逐渐增加的权利但是他们未来的养老金权利应该基于国家的退休年龄(目前许多公共部门的工人提前退休),职业生涯的平均工资而不是最终的工资。这样既可以防止滥用,又可以使做业余工作变得更加容易。

The public-sector pension problem is sharpest in American states. The deficits in their pension funds may amount to $3 trillion. They face legal and constitutional constraints that prevent them from following the British lead. Unlike wages, pension promises have been deemed, weirdly, to be permanent and sacrosanct. But as budget pressures bite, politicians are going to have to change laws and constitutions.

美国各州的公共部门养老金问题最为严重。他们的养老金基金赤字可能达3万亿美元。法律和宪法的限制使它们无法追随英国的脚步。与工资不同,养老金承诺被荒唐地认为具有永久性并且神圣不可侵犯。但是随着预算压力的增大,政客将不得不修改法律和宪法。

Private-sector workers face a different problem. The demise of final-salary pensions leaves them facing two big risks: that falling markets will undermine their retirement planning, and that they will outlive their savings. So governments should encourage workers to save more, nudging them into pension schemes by requiring them to opt out rather than opt in. And the basic state pension should be high enough to give those unlucky elderly with insufficient savings a decent income, without penalising those who have been thrifty. That is the least people deserve in return for toiling until they are 70.

私营部门的工人面临一个不同的难题。最终工资养老金的结束使他们面临两大风险:下行的市场将破坏他们的退休计划、他们的储蓄将不足。因此,各政府应该鼓励工人多存钱,通过让他们“可选择退出”而不是“可选择加入”来鼓励他们加入养老金计划。基本的国家养老金应该足以为那些没有足够存款的不幸老年人提供可观的收入,也不对一直节俭生活的人加以惩罚。这是人们辛辛苦苦工作到70岁应该获得的最低回报。

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重点单词
  • idleadj. 无目的的,无聊的; 懒惰的,闲散的; 无根据的
  • fundsn. 基金;资金,现金(fund的复数) v. 提供资金
  • disabilityn. 无力,无能,残疾
  • solutionn. 解答,解决办法,溶解,溶液
  • legaladj. 法律的,合法的,法定的
  • budgetn. 预算 vt. 编预算,为 ... 做预算 vi.
  • reformv. 改革,改造,革新 n. 改革,改良
  • productivityn. 生产率,生产能力
  • currentn. (水、气、电)流,趋势 adj. 流通的,现在的,
  • retainvt. 保持,保留; 记住