The next president will have to deal with the growing pension problem facing Colombia, where currently there are more than 3 million older adults who do not receive any pension and another 1.7 million who only receive the 80,000 pesos per month from the Colombia Mayor program.
(You can also read: “Pension savings represent 30% of annual GDP”: MinHacienda)
To discuss this problem, at the Fiap-Asofunds Congress held in Cartagena, different presidential candidates except Gustavo Petro put their pension proposals on the table.
Ingrid would raise the pension age
In the first place, Ingrid Betancourt said that older adults who do not get to retire will be given an allowance of about 480,000 pesos per month on average and that it will be necessary raising the pension age from 57 to 60 for women and from 62 to 65 for men.
“We have to solve the problem of coverage, the inequity of the system and the sustainability. We are facing a somewhat aberrant system because the public fund generates inequity by favoring the highest pensions,” said the candidate.
Betancourt would maintain Colpensiones and the private funds; however, he proposes to make a series of reforms such as the one that on the public side the calculation of the allowance is not taking only the last years worked because that way “creates inequity”.
“Colpensiones is a rather aberrant system because the money from the poor is passed on to the rich. What we want is to end that inequality,” he stated.
$500,000 for seniors
Sergio Fajardo indicated that he will expand the Colombia Mayor program with a basic income that will go from about 85,000 pesos to 500,000 pesos per month for adults over 65 who are unable to obtain a pension. For this, he said that he will develop a tax reform with which he hopes to obtain 33 billion pesos.
“There would be 3.6 million people and the approximate calculation is 18 billion pesos. We have to carry out a pension reform, it is an obligation as a society. In addition, the current development model no longer gives more, we need to transform it”, said the candidate.
Likewise, he indicated that the first two minimum wages would be quoted in Colpensiones and from then on in private pension funds. In addition, for Fajardo it is necessary to carry out a labor reform that protects those who work in informal jobs, which are more than 60 percent of the country’s workers.
The value of savings for Gómez
For his part, Enrique Gómez said that the candidate Petro speaks of expropriating the savings of the workers and that in his government that would not happen in any scenario.
In addition, he stated that one cannot have a pension savings system without first inculcating the value of savings and that the underlying problem in Colombia is really the labor issue.
“Nobody talks about reforming the labor system, about making the working day more flexible, about remuneration, about being more formal. People have to learn that to receive you have to contribute, ”she said.
Likewise, he indicated that if he becomes president, he would dismantle the system of distribution of the average premium, which is unsustainable. “I would drastically reduce Colpensiones and the average premium system, which is a Source of inequity. Nobody talks about the dead that is in the room: the special regimes, ”he said.
Gutiérrez would reduce the contribution time for those with the minimum wage
Federico Gutiérrez commented that he wants to carry out an old-age protection reform in which the pension age would not be raised but would be in charge of reduce from 25 to 22 years the contribution period for workers with 1 minimum wage.
Regarding the minimum income that would be given to older adults who do not manage to retire, he spoke of a figure of about 330,000 pesos.
“We need to maintain a mixed system. It is important to achieve greater coverage, equity and sustainability. The subsidies go to the highest pensions, we must guarantee that they go to the poorest. Also give a guarantee that the system is sustainable over time”, she pointed out.
Eliminate the highest pensions
Rodolfo Hernández stressed that the subsidies go to the highest pensions in the public regime and that in Colombia there is a “privileged system.”
In his government program, the candidate says that he would grant a pension to all older adults, regardless of whether or not they have met the requirements in force today, in addition to support to cover health issues.
In addition, he wants to reform Colpensiones to allow him to capture savings, so that he can compete with private funds in generating investments.