《经济学人》:生育高峰期的一代人正在退休
日期:2011-05-18 10:32

(单词翻译:单击)

A special report on pensions养老保险特别报道Too much, too young太多,太年轻

Watch your wallets: the baby-boomers are beginning to retire
看住钱包:生育高峰期的一代人正在退休

WHEN MOST LABOUR was agricultural, people generally toiled in the fields until they dropped. The idea of formal retirement did not become feasible until work moved from farms to factories. In 1889 Otto von Bismarck[1] famously introduced the world’s first (modest[2]) pension scheme in Germany. In the 20th century, when universal suffrage became widespread, a period of retirement after work was seen as a mark of a civilised social democracy.

过去,大多数劳力只是下田干活,直到再也干不动,才结束在土地上辛勤的劳作。自劳动从牧场转到工厂开始,正式退休这个概念才被广为流传。1889年,俾斯麦首次在德国实施第一个(小范围)养老金方案。20世纪,选举逐渐开始普及,离职后如果能享有一段退休时间,是一个国家文明民主的象征。

After the second world war pension provision increased markedly, but the number of elderly people was still quite small. In the 1970s and 1980s caring for them seemed easily affordable. Many countries even reduced their retirement ages.

第二次世界大战之后,养老金大幅增涨,而老年人的数量仍旧较少。20世纪70年代和80年代之间,负担照管老年人的费用似乎是件很容易的事情。很多国家甚至降低了退休年龄。

The demographic picture looks different now that the baby-boomers are starting to retire. In 1950 there were 7.2 people aged 20-64 for every person of 65 and more in the OECD. By 1980 the ratio had dropped to 5.1. Now it is around 4.1, and by 2050 it will be just 2.1. In short, every couple will be supporting a pensioner.

但是现在情况有所不同,从统计图表来看,生育高峰期的一代人开始逐渐退休。1950年,在世界经济与合作组织成员国里,年龄在20-64岁间的人与65岁及65岁以上的老年人的比例为7.2。在1980年,该比例降低为5.1,现在将近4.1,到2050年,这个数字仅仅是2.1。简单来说,就是每对夫妇需资助一位养老金领取人。

Europe and Japan are facing the biggest problems. The average dependency ratio in the European Union is already down to 3.5, and is heading for 1.8 by 2050. In Italy it is forecast to be nearly 1.5 and in Germany nearly 1.6 by then. Japan is on track for a startling 1.2. Since the average pensioner currently draws a total of about 60% of median earnings, from government and private sources, the system is likely to become unaffordable. In a sense, it does not matter how the benefits are paid for. If they are unfunded, they come from workers’ taxes; if funded, they come from investment income. But the income has to be generated by someone.

欧洲和日本面临的形势最为严峻。欧洲国家的比例已经降至3.5,逐渐向2050年的1.8迈进。到那时,预计意大利的比例将接近1.5,德国将是1.6左右,日本更向惊人的1.2挺进。当前,养老金是政府和个人提供的,平均每位养老金领取者大约拿到中等收入个人60%的薪资,养老体制很可能将承担不起。从某种意义上来说,问题并不在于如何缴纳养老金。如果没有筹措到资金,将由纳税人承担;如果筹措到资金,将由投资处承担,只是资金必须有人来提供。

There are ways of reducing the burden. The current generation of workers could save more now. If they put more money into funded pension schemes, the extra saving might encourage more investment and thus boost economic growth. A wealthier society would find it easier to afford paying pensions. Countries with PAYG schemes could raise taxes now, reducing the deficit and thus the debt burden on the younger generations.

减轻负担的方式有很多种。这代工薪阶层可以从现在开始攒钱。如果他们向养老保险基金投入更多的钱,那么这将鼓励他们将多余的积蓄进行更多的投资,从而刺激经济增长。社会越富裕,支付养老保险的费用才会更容易。在现收现付制的国家虽然现今可以通过增加税收来减少赤字,这便将负担转移在年轻人身上。

We want it now我们现在就要
But more savings or higher taxation now would require those currently at work to defer consumption. They may not be willing to do so. And given the weakness of developed economies in the wake of the financial crisis, governments may not want to see consumption go down in the immediate future.

但是,现在更多的攒钱或者增税使得正在工作的工薪阶层的消费延迟,而且他们也不乐意这样。考虑到金融危机后发达国家经济的弱势,政府估计也不愿意在不远的将来看到消费水平的下降。

In the OECD public spending on pensions benefits has been growing faster than national output, rising from 6.1% of GDP in 1990 to 7% in 2007. It is forecast to reach 11.4% of GDP by 2050. Those forecasts already take into account the planned rise in retirement ages and a likely drop in replacement ratios and thus assume that voters will approve of pension reform even as the baby-boomers become a potentially powerful voting block of retired people.

世界经济与合作组织在养老保险上的公共花费的增长比全国产出量增长都快,从1990年占GDP的6.1%增长到2007年的7%,预计到2050将占到GDP的11.4%,预测报告已经将计划提高退休年龄以及新老人员更替比例下降都考虑进去了,虽然生育高峰期的退休人员将成为选举中潜在的阻碍力量,但是选民还是很可能会通过养老改革的议题。

But that assumption may not be safe. Turnout in elections tends to be higher among the elderly than among the young. As Neil Howe and Richard Jackson of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, have written: “In the 2020s young people in developed countries will have the future on their side. Elders will have the votes on theirs.”

但是这种假设不是一定的。参加选举的人中,一般老年人会比青年人多。位于华盛顿的战略国际研究中心Neil Howe和Richard Jackson曾写道:“21世纪20年代,发达国家的未来当然总是年轻人的,但是,选票却握在老年人手中。”

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重点单词
  • schemen. 方案,计划,阴谋 v. 计画,设计,体系,结构,图
  • currentn. (水、气、电)流,趋势 adj. 流通的,现在的,
  • blockn. 街区,木块,石块 n. 阻塞(物), 障碍(物)
  • feasibleadj. 可行的,可能的
  • trackn. 小路,跑道,踪迹,轨道,乐曲 v. 跟踪,追踪
  • headingn. 标题,题目,航向 动词head的现在分词
  • strategicadj. 战略的,重要的,基本的
  • provisionn. 规定,条款; 供应(品); 预备 n. (pl.)
  • demographicadj. 人口统计学的
  • encouragevt. 鼓励,促进,支持