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Every three years, the Ageing Working Group (AWG) of the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) of the European Council (ecofin) Council carries out long-term projections of social expenditure for the 28 EU Member States and Norway. These projections are published in the “Ageing Report” under the joint responsibility of the EPC and the European Commission. The results of these social expenditure projections are used when the European Commission assesses the fiscal sustainability of the Member States, with the medium-term objectives (MTO) particularly taking into account the long-term cost of ageing.
It should be noted that the projections published in the Ageing Report 2015 of the European Commission did not take into account the pension reform of 2015. The report “Economic Policy Committee’s Ageing Working Group - Belgium: Country Fiche 2015” sets out a projection of the first pillar pension expenditure made in November 2015 and integrating the 2015 pension reform as well as other measures.
AWG projections are based on demographic, socio-economic and macro-economic scenarios established by EUROSTAT and the European Commission after discussions within the AWG. Of all social expenditure, only the pension expenses borne by the State (including the expenses for disability and unemployment with company bonus) are projected using national models (the MALTESE model of the Federal Planning Bureau - see the “Financial evolution of social protection”). The other social expenditures are estimated using models elaborated by the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) of the European Commission.