Reforming Old Age Security: A Social Work Perspective - Canadian Association of Social ...

 
Reforming Old Age Security: A Social Work Perspective - Canadian Association of Social ...
Reforming Old Age Security:
 A Social Work Perspective
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        Canadian Association of Social Workers
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      Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW)
Reforming Old Age Security: A Social Work Perspective © 2012
Reforming Old Age Security:
                                         A Social Work Perspective

Introduction

The federal government recently announced its intention to reform Old Age Security (OAS) and
the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Specifically, it will gradually increase the age of
eligibility for the OAS pension and the GIS between the years 2023 and 2029 from 65 to 67. As
a corollary, it will also increase the age of eligibility for the Allowance from 60 to 62.

The government gives four main reasons for the change. The first is that the current program is
unsustainable in its current form. The second is that Canada’s population is rapidly aging. The
third is tax fairness. The fourth is the need for Canada’s labor market and economy to adapt to an
aging society.1

To understand the implications of the changes, it is important to note that the Old Age Security
program is the cornerstone, or first pillar, of Canada’s three-pillar retirement system and affects
all Canadians regardless of age since it is financed from the Government of Canada’s general
revenues which are collected each year.2 The OAS program includes includes the basic OAS
pension, the GIS, the Allowance and the Allowance for Survivors.

The OAS pension is a monthly benefit which is available to most Canadians 65 and over. The
maximum annual OAS benefit is currently $6,481. To qualify, a person must be 65, meet
residency requirements, and be a Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada. Since 1989, OAS
is also subject to a clawback of benefits for higher income recipients.3

The GIS is also a monthly benefit which is paid to eligible residents of Canada who receive a full
or partial OAS benefit and who have little other income. The maximum benefit is $8,788 for
single seniors and $11,654 for couples.4 The GIS stops being paid at $39,264.5 Recipients must
apply annually for the benefit but unlike the OAS, it is not subject to income tax.

The Allowance, which also includes an allowance for surviving spouses, or common law
partners, of deceased OAS pensioners, is designed to aid those who are between the ages of 60

1
 Service Canada, Questions and Answers regarding the changes to the Old Age Security Act,
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/oas/changes/faq.shtml#s4
2
  The second pillar is the Canada Assistance Plan. The third are private pensions, most of which receive tax
assistance. The second and third pillar are not the focus of this report.
3
  There is an income test for the OAS which was introduced by the Conservative Government of Brian Mulroney.
Currently, the benefit is partially reduced for any recipient having an net income over $70,000 (approximately)
and fully reduced at an income of $113,000 (approximately).
4
    Budget 2012, Chapter 4
5
    Service Canada, http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/isp/oas/oasrates.shtml#fn2
and 64 (near seniors). Like the other benefits, it is subject to residency requirements. The
Allowance is income tested. The maximum that is paid is equal to the combined full OAS benefit
and the maximum GIS benefit.

In terms of cost, the OAS pension is the largest. In 2012, it is anticipated that the total cost will
be $31 billion for about 5.1 million beneficiaries. By contrast, the GIS will cost $9.4 billion for
1.8 million recipients and the Allowance $577 million for 89,000 recipients.6

Social Work Perspective

In attempting to assess the proposed reform of the Old Age Security program, the Canadian
Association of Social Workers (CASW) places a priority on the impact of the change on women.
It has been a primary concern of the association since 2003. Hence, we initially look at the
reform from that perspective.

Secondly, we consider the position of the government that the current old age security program is
not financially sustainable. We do this in two ways; by assessing the financial burden on the
federal government and by comparing the Canadian experience with western Europe. If, as
claimed, the current system is unsustainable, reform may be necessary even if it is judged to be
unfair to some senior, and near senior (60-64), recipients.

Thirdly, we consider briefly some alternative reforms to those proposed by the government.

In order to examine social policy reforms such as those proposed for old age security, CASW
uses guidelines which are based on social work codes of ethics (Appendix 1). The codes place a
high priority on human rights and social justice.

Hence, our evaluation is not driven by a bias toward, or against, any particular government.
Rather, it is guided by a set of principles which are consistent with social work values.

Impact on Women

It is generally agreed that the Old Age Security program has been an important source of income
for low income seniors and largely successful in bringing most seniors above the poverty line.
However, there is still a significant percentage of single seniors, particularly women, who fall
below the low income cutoff (commonly called the poverty line).

According to the most recent data, for example, only 1.6% of married senior women in 2009
were living below the low income cutoff (after tax) while 15.2% of single senior women were
low income.7

6
    Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Old Age Insecurity?, 2012, page 1
7
    Statistics Canada, Person in Low Income After Tax (in percent – 2005 to 2009), CANSIM table 202-0802.
To some extent, the percentage of low income single senior women may have been reduced since
then as some of them will have been eligible for additional annual benefits of $600 for single
seniors (and $800 for couples) which the government introduced in the 2011 budget.8

Even with the increase, though, the maximum combined benefit of OAS/GIS ( $15,269) is still
less than the low income cutoff for residents in larger cities.9

For senior women, the Old Age Security program is a far more important source of income than
for men. In 2008, fully 52.6% of the income of senior women came from government transfers
compared to 37.5% for men while 30% of senior women’s income came from the Old Age
Security program compared to 16.9% for men (Table 2).

Because of the high level of dependency on income transfers from government, low income
senior women will be disproportionately affected by the change in the age eligibility for the OAS
program. They rely upon the program more than men and will suffer more because of the
reduction in the number of years that they can receive benefits.

Many women currently aged 60 or older, who depend on OAS/GIS or the Allowance, probably
did not work outside the home for significant periods of time, so they were not able to build up
private pension incomes in their own names. And if they did work outside the home, they were
more likely than men to be employed in low paying jobs.
,
While more women coming up to retirement in the future will have spent most of their adult
lives in paid employment, many are working in non-standard work arrangements which are
unstable, part-time and tedious. Moreover, “these precarious jobs are generally poorly paid and
without benefits such as pensions. As well, women’s average earnings are still below those of
men, even when both are working full-time for a full year.”10.

For many low income women, now and in the future, receipt of old age security benefits is the
first time they will have a stable income which brings them close to, or above, the low income
cutoff. For some, it is actually an improvement in their standard of living. Also, the option to
work for pay is frequently not an option for women who are forced to retire early to care for an
older or disabled family member.

In a recent report of Statistics Canada on retirement, health and employment, it was found that
women were more likely to be retired than men by age 55, many due to chronic health
conditions. Almost one half of retired women reported having arthritis compared to 34% of men.

8
  The top-up only applies to individuals with an income (other than OAS/GIS) of 2,000 or less and a couple of
$4,000 or less.
9
 The low income cutoff is not available yet for 2012. In 2010, the low income cutoff for cities of 500,00 or more
was $18,759. See Statistics Canada, Low Income Cut-offs after tax, 2011.
10
  Monica Towson, Financial Security for Women Seniors in Canada, Canadian Association of Social Workers,
2007, page 8.
Many older workers were having trouble staying employed due to poor health even if they were
not financially prepared to retire.11

Despite these differences in employment history and family responsibility, women are now being
told that they must wait two more years to quality either for OAS/GIS or the Allowance. Instead
of receiving social benefits which provide dignity and respect at 60 or 65, they are being told
they must wait two more years, continue working in precarious jobs or go on provincial welfare
schemes.

For higher income seniors, the extra two years may be a choice. For low income women, they are
a deterrent.

Financial Sustainability

In budget 2012, the government justifies the increase in age eligibility by highlighting two
trends; the decline in the number of workers per senior by the year 2030 and the increasing life
expectancy of seniors in the future.

The present OAS program was put in place in the 1950’s when seniors were not living as long as
they are now and when the percentage of workers to retirees was larger than at present or will be
in the future. In 2010, there were 4.4 workers per senior. By 2030, there will be 2.4.

Looking ahead, the demographics are also changing. In the 1970’s, the average life expectancy
for men was 69 and for women 76. Currently, it is 79 for men and 83 for women. By 2031, it is
projected to be 82 and 86 respectively.12

Given these demographics, the government notes that the cost of the OAS program will increase
from $38 billion in 2011 to $108 billion in 2030 – essentially a tripling of costs in less than
twenty years, due in considerable measure to the retirement of baby boomers.

On the surface, the government’s concern about rapidly rising costs seems appropriate. One
pundit, entirely in support of the OAS program reform, claims that it is “time baby boomers stop
living off the avails of future generations.”13

He says that the reform should be cheered by Canadians under the age of fifty because they have
to take on the “tremendous burden” facing future generations, including those who are not even
born.14

11
     Jungwee Park, 2011, Retirement health and employment among those 55 plus, Statistics Canada.
12
     Budget 2012 Chapter 4, chart 4.2 and Statistics Canada, Canadian Demographics at a Glance, page 13.
13
  Jim Middlemiss, Time to reform the OAS, Canadian Lawyer, http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/4107/time-to-
reform-the-oas.html
14
  John Ivison, a political columnist of the National Post, agrees with Middlemiss’s assessment. Note to Bob Rae:
Yes, we have a pension problem, http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/02/01/john-ivison-note-to-bob-rae-yes-
we-have-a-pension-problem/
The problem with the concerns about rising costs is that they do not take into account our ability
to pay. Nor do they consider what the government’s chief actuary and budget officer are saying
about the financial burden. When this is done, the perspective is somewhat different.

In 2011, the chief actuary issued a report on the OAS program to take into account the increases
which the government introduced to the GIS in the budget that year. The report also included an
assessment of the total cost of the entire OAS program and projected the cost into the future,
based on the percentage of our gross domestic product or GDP (i.e., our ability to pay).

The actuarial report confirms that the nominal cost of the OAS program increases significantly
from the present until 2030 but it also includes an additional, very important, finding. The cost,
as a percentage of GDP, increases less than 1% from 2011 (2.37%) to 2030 (3.16%) and then
falls back to the same percentage of expenditure by the year 2060 (2.35%). In terms of our
ability to pay, it is hardly a burden on future generations (Table 3).

Another way to look at the future financial burden of the OAS program is to compare projected
expenditures against employment earnings since they give some idea of how the cost will impact
directly on workers in the labor force.

Like the relation to the overall economic capacity of the country (GDP), expenditures on the
OAS program, as a percentage of total employment earnings (Table 4), rise from 2012 (5.27%)
to 2031 (7.12%) and then begin to fall to levels which are similar to what they are today.

A recent report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) also casts doubt on the government’s
assertion that the OAS program is fiscally unsustainable. Using slightly different data than the
chief actuary and taking into account the potential enhancement of benefits in the future through
cost of living increases, the PBO concludes that the overall federal debt to GDP will decline with
or without the OAS reform.

Also, when the PBO compares expenditures on benefits to both the percentage of the revenue of
government and program spending, a similar pattern occurs to what we observed in relation to
the GDP and employment earnings – they rise until about 2030-31 and steadily decline
thereafter (Table 5).

Still another factor that will moderate future expenditures is a trend, likely to increase in the
future, toward a delay in the age of retirement. Age 65 is less and less a marker for retirement,
particularly among professional and skilled workers. Since the 1990s, the employment rate of
older Canadians has grown significantly.15 One consequence of the trend is that in spite of
increasing life expectancy (or maybe because of it), the length of retirement, is about the same
now as it was in 1977.

While the overall trend toward delayed retirement can be used to bolster the government’s
argument for an increase in age eligibility, it is important to recognize that many low income
workers, especially those with an illness or disability or precarious job, will not be able to
15
     Yves Carriere and Diane Galarneau (2011), Delayed retirement: A new trend?, Statistics Canada.
exercise the choice of higher paid workers to extend their period of employment. And they are
least likely to replace lost income from an increase in age eligibility.

European Experience

Prime Minister Stephen Harper initially announced his intention to slash the cost of the OAS
program at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His message seemed to be
directed as much to heads of European governments as to Canadians.

For the past few years, both he and his finance minister, Mr. Flaherty, have been preaching the
virtues of fiscal conservatism and encouraging the Europeans to follow the Canadian lead by
rapidly reducing debt and cutting expenses on social programs. By implication, he does not like
the high social expenditures of Europe.

In reality, Canada does not have social expenditures – in the form of cash benefits or services - at
the level of most western European countries.16 In 2007, for example, public social expenditures,
as a percentage of GDP, were 19.3% on average across OECD (mainly European) countries.
Canada’s social expenditures, at 16.9%, were below the OECD average and far below most
European countries.17

Since 2007, due in large measure to the economic crises of 2008-2009, social expenditures,
including those of Canada, increased but Canada’s estimated expenditures in 2012 will remain at
19.3% - below the OECD average of 22.1% and way below most European countries.18 In the
last three years, Canada’s expenditures on social programs have stabilized, not increased (Table
6).

Furthermore, Canada’s public social expenditures on pensions are also modest in comparison
with European countries. In 2012, they are estimated to be 4.7% or about half of what they are in
Germany, a third of France and far behind countries with huge debt like Greece or Italy (Table
7).

On the other hand, despite the relatively low level of social expenditures in Canada compared to
Europe, the Harper government reasons that Canada should follow the European countries which
are increasing the age of eligibility of their pension programs to offset their rising costs.

There are, in our judgment, three reasons why Canada does not need to do so. The first, as
already outlined, is the relatively modest level of social expenditure, including public pensions,
in Canada. The second is the higher dependency ratio in many European countries (in the range
of 25 to 30 older people per 100 working population) compared to Canada (20 per 100 working

16
  Willem Adema, Pauline Fron, Maxime Ladaique 2011), Is the European Welfare State Really More Expensive?.
OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers No 124.
17
  OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) is an international organization of developed
countries, including most of the European and Anglo American countries such as Canada, which provides data and
studies on the social and economic challenges faced by member states.
18
     Estimates only
population).19 The third is a tendency for people, in European countries, to retire before the age
of 65 because of the generosity of their schemes.

The Canadian government is not faced with the same level of fiscal constraint as its European
counterparts. Nor is there a serious fiscal challenge in Canada because of the existing OAS
program.

While the government may choose to increase age eligibility to reduce the deficit and maintain
low taxation, European pensions, and related social expenditures, bear limited resemblance to the
Canadian experience.

The current OAS program is sound and affordable. Reports from independent agents of
Parliament, such as the chief actuary and the budget officer, confirm that it is fiscally sustainable.
Canada is not dealing with European style social expenditures.

This is not to suggest, however, that social reform of the OAS program is undesirable or
impossible, only that it is disingenuous to increase age eligibility on the basis of fiscal
sustainability.

Alternative Reforms

Some alternative reforms being proposed by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy and the
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) look promising and are worthwhile considering. They are also
compatible with CASW social policy principles (Table 1).

One measure proposed by Caledon is to protect low income seniors and near seniors from a rise
in the age of eligibility by extending an income test mechanism now in place for the Allowance
and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to all seniors from 60 to 67. 20

A related reform, advocated by Caledon, is to allow all seniors from 60 to 70 to choose their age
of retirement and to adjust the benefit level actuarially to take into account age differences when
seniors begin to draw on OAS.

A third is to bolster the Guaranteed Income Supplement to make sure that all seniors and near
seniors have income above the poverty line. The CLC proposes an increase of 15%.

A fourth and final proposal is to replace the current OAS program by a comprehensive and
progressive senior benefit which could be income tested in a way which improves benefits for
the vast majority of seniors but reduces the benefit for high income individuals and couples.

19
     The World Bank, Age dependency ratio, http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.DPND.OL
20
   For further detail on these and other reform proposals, see Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson
(2012), Old Age Security? and Canadian Labour Congress, Increase OAS/GIS Benefits, Retirement Security for
Everyone.
Table 1
                             Canadian Association of Social Workers
                                    Social Policy Principles

Dignity and Respect: each individual has a right to self-fulfillment to the extent that the right does
not encroach on the rights of others. To that end, social policy measures should intrude as little as
possible on the choices which individuals make to realize their own personal life goals.

Equality: because of the intrinsic worth of every human being, each person shall be treated equally
without unfair discrimination on the basis of disability, color, social class, race, religion, language,
political beliefs, sex or sexual orientation.

Equity: individuals and families are to be treated equally if they are in like circumstances; social
inequalities are considered just only if they result in compensating benefits for the least
advantaged in society.

Comprehensiveness: all persons in Canada are entitled to educational, health and social services
and social security on uniform terms and conditions in a manner which assures a range of choice
and maximizes respect for the individual.

Quality Services: services are to be based on best practices and a participatory approach to their
administration and improvement.

Constitutional Integrity: social programs are to be financed, regulated, and provided with full
regard to the jurisdictional responsibility and competence of each level of government.

Subsidiarity: social programs are to be provided at the lowest level of community provision
possible unless it can be shown that they can be more effectively provided by higher levels of
government.

Social Dialogue: governments should take all necessary steps to encourage and facilitate extensive
consultation with relative social partners in the development of social policies and the
administration of social programs.
Table 2
  Income sources as percentage of total income of women and men aged 65 years and over
                                       Canada, 1998 and 2008
            Income Source                            1998                     2008
                                           Women       Men           Women        Men
                                                                 dollars
Total Income                                  40,996       50,582        58,662       74,093
                                            percentage
Market Income                                    40.2        55.4          47.4         62.5
Earnings                                          2.3          7.9           4.9        11.8
Wages, salaries and commissions                   1.8          4.7           3.9          7.9
Self-employment income                            0.5          3.2           1.0          3.9
Self-employment, farm                             0.2          0.4           0.0          0.2
Self-employment, non-farm                         0.3          2.7           1.0          3.7
Investment income                                14.1        11.3          11.0         10.5
Retirement income1                               21.7        34.9          28.6         36.6
Other income                                      2.1          1.3           2.9          3.6
Government Transfers                             59.8        44.6          52.6         37.5
Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income              36.6        20.9          30.0         16.9
Supplement
and Spouse's Allowance
Canada Pension Plan and Quebec                   19.9        21.1          19.7         18.0
Pension Plan
Child Tax Credit                                    F            F             F            F
Unemployment Insurance benefits                     F          0.2           0.1          0.3
Workers' compensation benefits                    0.5          0.7           0.4          1.0
Goods and Services Tax and                        1.0          0.7           0.7          0.4
Harmonized Sales
Tax credits
Provincial and territorial tax credits            1.0          0.6           1.1          0.6
Social assistance                                 0.6          0.5           0.6          0.1
.. not available for a specific reference period
1. Retirement income includes pension benefits, superannuation payments or annuities generated by employer
pension plans.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 202-0407
Table 3
                               Financial Status of OAS Program

Year Number of Beneficiaries                   Expenditures                                  Exp.
           (thousands)                          ($ million)                        GDP       as %
       OAS    GIS      Allow    OAS        GIS    Allow Admin          Total     $ billion     of
                                                                                             GDP
2011    4,889   1,752     93      29,468    8,729    582         138    38,917      1,641     2.37
2012    5,091   1,820     89      31,290    9,367    577         143    41,377      1,705     2.43
2013    5,289   1,886     86      33,141    9,857    570         151    43,719      1,770     2.47
2014    5,482   1,957     84      33,022   10,391    568         160    46,141      1,834     2.52
2015    5,679   2,028     82      36,987   10,939    571         168    48,665      1,900     2.56

2020    6,782   2,431     79      49,018   14,388    611         222    64,239      2,322    2.77
2025    8,043   2,849     76      64,967   18,703    655         293    84,618      2,820    3.00
2030    9,302   3,260     61      83,981   23,748    589         376   108,694      3,442    3.16
2040   10,507   3,576     52     118,525   32,232    615         526   151,898      5,191    2.93

2050 11,282 3,580          50 159,723 40,202         731    698        201,354     7,702     2.61
2060 12,159 3,573          41 216,118 50,013         741    929        267,801    11,412     2.35
          th
Source: 10 Actuarial Report on the Old Age Security Program
Table 4
                           OAS Program Expenditures
               Percentage of Total Employment Earnings (Projected)
Year          Earnings          OAS      GIS   Allowance       Admin                Total
              $ billion          %        %        %             %                   %
2010            736              3.80     1.06     0.08         0.02                 4.96
2011            757              3.89     1.13     0.08         0.02                 5.12
2012            779              4.01     1.16     0.07         0.02                 5.27
2013            802              4.13     1.19     0.07         0.02                 5.41
2014            823              4.25     1.22     0.07         0.02                 5.56

2020           1,036               4.73      1.34        0.06          0.02           6.16
2021           1,079               4.81      1.36        0.06          0.02           6.25
2022           1,120               4.91      1.38        0.06          0.02           6.37
2023           1,162               5.01      1.40        0.05          0.02           6.49
2024           1,206               5.10      1.43        0.05          0.02           6.60

2030           1,520               5.52      1.51        0.04          0.02           7.10
2031           1,581               5.54      1.51        0.04          0.02           7.12
2032           1,646               5.53      1.51        0.03          0.02           7.10
2033           1,713               5.51      1.50        0.03          0.02           7.07
2034           1,783               5.49      1.49        0.03          0.02           7.04

2040           2,270               5.22      1.38         0.03        0.02           6.65
2045           2,760               4.97      1.26         0.02        0.02           6.28
2050           3,335               4.79      1.17         0.02        0.02           6.00
Source: Office of the Chief Actuary, 9th Actuarial Report on the Old Age Security Program

                                        Table 5
                               Projected Elderly Benefits
                ($ billions, percentage of revenue/program spending)
       Year                $ billions            % Revenue              % Program
                                                                          Spending
 2010-11                               36                     15.9                  14.8
 2020-21                               63                     16.8                  18.3
 2030-31                              105                     19.8                  20.9
 2040-41                              148                     18.9                  20.3
 2050-51                              199                     17.4                  19.1
 2060-61                              269                     16.1                  18.0
 2070-71                              351                     14.3                  16.3
 2080-81                              460                     12.8                  14.9
 Source: Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Federal Fiscal Sustainability and
 Elderly Benefits, 2012
Table 6
           Public Social Expenditures as % GDP, Projected from 2008 to 2012
Country      2007         2008         2009        2010        2011         2012
Australia           16.0         16.5         18.0       16.6         16.4       16.1
Austria             26.4         26.7         29.1       28.9         28.3       28.1
Belgium             26.3         27.4         29.7       29.4         28.9       28.6
Canada              16.9         17.7         19.6       19.3         19.3       19.3
Chile               10.6         10.6         12.5       11.6            m         m
Czech
Republic            18.8         18.7        20.3       20.4        20.6         20.4
Denmark             26.0         26.6        30.2       30.1        29.9         29.5
Estonia             13.0         15.6        19.7       19.7        18.3         17.3
Finland             24.9         25.7        29.6       29.1        28.4         28.0
France              28.4         28.6        30.7       31.0        30.4         29.9
Germany             25.2         25.2        27.6       27.3        26.4         25.8
Greece              21.3         22.7        24.6       23.2        23.4         23.1
Hungary             22.9         23.5        24.4       23.5        23.1         22.1
Iceland             14.6         15.1        17.7       15.8        14.8         14.0
Ireland             16.3         18.8        22.5       22.8        21.4         19.8
Israel              15.5         15.8        16.2       16.3        16.1         15.7
Italy               24.9         25.6        27.5       27.5        27.0         26.4
Japan               18.7         20.0          m          m           m            m
Korea                7.6          8.1         9.0        9.0         9.4          9.7
Luxembourg          20.6         21.2        24.4       23.5        23.4         23.6
Mexico               7.2          8.4         8.8        8.2         8.5           m
Netherlands         20.1         20.2        22.5       22.6        22.2         21.5
New
Zealand             18.4         20.1        21.4       21.8        22.1         21.8
Norway              20.8         20.6        24.0       24.0        22.7         22.4
Poland              19.8         19.9        21.4       21.8        21.4         21.1
Portugal            22.5         23.0        25.9       26.1        25.3         25.4
Slovak
Republic            15.7         15.8        18.5       18.2        17.6         17.0
Slovenia            20.3         20.9        23.6       23.9        24.0         23.7
Spain               21.6         23.1        26.3       26.7        25.9         25.3
Sweden              27.3         27.3        29.6       28.2        27.2         26.5
Switzerland         18.5         18.1        19.6       19.6        19.1         18.5
Turkey              10.5           m           m          m           m            m
United
Kingdom             20.5         21.5        24.3       24.4        23.7         22.9
United
States              16.2         16.8        19.5       20.4        20.3         19.5
OECD                19.3         20.2        22.5       22.2        22.1         22.1
Source: OECD Social Expenditure Database (SOCX)
Table 7
      Public Social Expenditures on Pension as % of GDP, Projected from 2008 to 2012
Country        2007         2008         2009        2010        2011         2012
Australia              3.4          3.4         3.4         3.4          3.4            3.4
Austria               12.3         12.2        12.2        12.2         12.2           12.2
Belgium                8.9          8.9         9.0         9.1          9.2            9.3
Canada                 4.2          4.3         4.4         4.6          4.6            4.7
Chile                  5.2          5.1         5.4         5.2           m              m
Czech
Republic               7.4          7.2         7.0         6.8          6.7            6.7
Denmark                5.5          5.6         5.7         5.7          5.8            5.9
Estonia                5.2          5.5         5.7         6.0          5.9            5.9
Finland                8.3          8.5         8.6         8.8          9.0            9.2
France                12.5         12.6        12.8        13.0         13.0           13.0
Germany               10.7         10.6        10.5        10.5         10.5           10.4
Greece                11.9         11.9        11.8        11.8         11.9           12.0
Hungary                9.1          9.2         9.4         9.5          9.4            9.3
Iceland                1.9          2.0         2.7         2.6          2.4            2.3
Ireland                3.6          3.6         3.6         3.7          3.7            3.7
Israel                 4.8          4.9         5.1         5.1          5.1            5.0
Italy                 14.1         14.1        14.1        14.1         14.1           14.1
Japan                  8.8          9.3           m           m           m              m
Korea                  1.7          1.9         2.1         2.4          2.5            2.6
Luxembourg             6.5          6.5         6.5         6.5          6.5            6.6
Mexico                 1.4          1.8         1.6         1.7          1.4             m
Netherlands            4.7          4.7         4.7         4.6          4.7            4.8
New
Zealand                4.3          4.5         4.8         5.0          5.1            5.1
Norway                 4.7          4.8         4.9         5.1          5.2            5.3
Poland                10.6         10.4        10.2         9.9          9.7            9.5
Portugal              10.8         10.9        11.1        11.2         11.3           11.3
Slovak
Republic               5.8          5.8         5.7         5.7          5.6            5.6
Slovenia               9.6          9.7         9.8         9.8          9.9           10.0
Spain                  8.0          8.2         8.4         8.5          8.6            8.6
Sweden                 7.2          7.2         7.2         7.3          7.2            7.2
Switzerland            6.4          6.4         6.4         6.3          6.4            6.4
Turkey                 6.1           m            m           m           m              m
United
Kingdom                5.4          5.4         5.4         5.4          5.5            5.5
United
States                 6.0          6.1         6.8         6.9          6.7            6.7
Source: OECD Social Expenditure Database (SOCX)
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