As Minister for Social Protection, I am required to have an actuarial review of the social insurance fund undertaken at five yearly intervals. The review takes account of the adequacy or otherwise of the contributions to the fund to support benefits and other payments as well as other matters relevant to the current and future financial condition of the fund.
The most recent actuarial review, which reflected the financial position of the fund at the end of 2015, was completed and published in 2017. Amongst the review’s projections were that the fund will be in increasing deficit from 2021 onwards as the aging of the population starts to impact. It also projected that in the absence of action to tackle the shortfall, the excess of expenditure over income will increase significantly over the medium and long term and that sizeable Exchequer subvention will be required to meet ongoing expenditure requirements in the absence of reductions in expenditure levels or increases in social insurance income.
The recently published report of the Pensions Commission includes an update on certain projections of the last review. These updated projections predict an annual shortfall in the fund of over €2.3 billion in 2030, €13 billion by 2050 with anticipated annual shortfalls steadily increasing to some €21 billion in 2070.
Preparations for the next actuarial review of the fund, to reflect the position at the end of 2020, are underway with a view to its completion and publication in 2022. The projections of that review, in addition to the recommendations of the Pensions Commission on the sustainability of the social insurance fund and any related recommendations arising from the ongoing work of the Commission on Taxation and Welfare will be considered by Government in developing proposals to address the significant sustainability challenges ahead for the social insurance fund.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.