Social security, with its close links with the economic system and public finances, has become a major lever of economic policy. Within the framework of its statutory mission to support economic policy-making, the FPB has developed increasingly sophisticated tools aimed at analysing and forecasting financial flows linked to social security. The FPB has also been led to evaluate the consequences of alternative scenarios based on different economic and social policies.
Towards the end of the 80’s, the Belgian government commissioned the FPB to study the effects of ageing on public finances and to evaluate the budgetary consequences of the reforms of the legal pension schemes that were in the pipeline. Various studies covering the long-term prospects of social expenditure were submitted to the government, Parliament and the social partners. Those studies were published by the FPB and presented at various international scientific meetings.
Studies by the FPB on the impact of ageing on Belgian public finances have also been used as a source for various reports published by the EU and the OECD. The FPB also takes an active part in the Ageing Working Group (AWG) created by the EU’s Economic Policy Committee, which regularly publishes reports on the long-term prospects of social expenditure.
Financial evolution of social protection
Under this heading, you will find a more detailed description of the work carried out by the FPB on medium- and long-term financial projections regarding social protection (social security and other public systems of social protection).
Study Committee on Ageing
The Law of 5 September 2001 guaranteeing a continuous reduction in the public debt and the setting up of an Ageing Fund also provided for the creation of the Study Committee on Ageing. The Law entrusts the FPB with the secretariat of the Committee. As such, it plays an essential role in the specification and simulation of the required models and in the preparation of the annual report published by the Committee.
Income distribution and poverty
Besides a traditional budgetary approach, the FPB also opted, a few years ago, for a more qualitative approach of ageing. Work carried out in this perspective looks at instruments such as statutory pension schemes and social benefits as tools for combating poverty as well as financial incentives for early retirement.