The prospects for the AHV that the federal government painted on the wall in its message on the AHV reform three years ago were bleak: without countermeasures, the AHV fund could face a minus of 7.7 billion francs in the operating result in 2030.
Even with the AHV additional financing (TRAF) approved by the people, a deficit of CHF 4.6 billion would result. And in 2034, according to the assessment at the time, the AHV fund would be empty.
The hole gets smaller
Now it turns out that the hole is getting smaller and smaller as the year 2030 approaches. When Parliament dealt with the new AHV reform last year, the Federal Social Insurance Office (BSV) was still forecasting a deficit of 3.7 billion for 2030 in December – the AHV pot would then only be 36 billion.
A horror scenario for the commoners. Reason enough that women should work longer to relieve the AHV fund. In the winter session, for example, Parliament finally approved the increase in the retirement age for women to 65 – against the opposition of the left-green camp.
The federal government was still wrong: in December, it only predicted a slight increase of CHF 867 million for the AHV fund for 2021, with the end result being a profit of CHF 2.6 billion.
Deficit halved, fund increases
Now Social Affairs Minister Alain Berset (50) is presenting new calculations on the AHV financial perspectives with the message on the initiative for a 13th AHV pension – which the Federal Council considers too expensive and therefore rejects.
The surprise: the AHV is not doing as badly as was thought six months ago: even without any savings measures, the deficit will be halved by 2030 to just CHF 1.8 billion. And the AHV fund amounts to around 52 billion francs – two billion more than now.
Have Berset’s officials reacted to the criticism from the unions that the federal government counts the AHV as poor? For example, the wage index was adjusted in the new calculations, so that significantly higher income is expected.
Social scientist explains: That is why poverty in old age mostly affects women(01:19)
The new numbers have nothing to do with the union scolding, says BSV communications chief Rolf Camenzind to Blick. The financial prospects would certainly not be embellished or worsened with a view to the AHV vote for political reasons.
“Not a huge problem, but a problem”
The calculations are based on the latest forecasts from various external sources. For example, on those of the Federal Statistical Office for population development or the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) for the economy. If the AHV fund closes better than expected, this will have a positive effect on subsequent years.
“If the various factors change, the financial perspectives also change,” says Camenzind. The current jump has various causes. But he makes it clear: “The AHV no longer has a huge problem, but it is still a problem. The AHV reform is still urgent.”
Through ball for opponents of the AHV reform
For the opponents of the AHV reform, on the other hand, the new numbers are a through ball with a view to the vote in September. The trade union federation is angry about the “systematic fear-mongering at the expense of the population”. Instead of tackling the problem of too low AHV pensions, the Federal Council is “hiding behind the threat that an expansion of the AHV is not affordable,” writes the SGB in a statement.
Rather, he sees potential for an AHV expansion – with a 13th AHV pension. And he already knows how this can be financed. Since this week, the SGB has been collecting signatures for a popular initiative that wants part of the National Bank’s profits to go to AHV.
Work longer? Berset believes that a higher retirement age is necessary(11:15)