Maris Jesse, director of the National Institute for Health Development, believes that Estonia should adopt a pension system in which people can choose when to retire between age 60 and 70.
“I honestly support this kind of flexible pension system […] It’s so individual, and it depends on people’s jobs, health, values and what they set as priorities in life,” Jesse told ETV. She also explained that, in Estonian culture, children tend to care for their retired parents, and those needing state help are mostly alone.
“But if our average lifespan rises, for example, by another five years, and then to say that it’s time again to raise the average retirement age – that I certainly would not support,” said Jesse.
She named Sweden as a good role model for Estonia. On the other hand, analyst Andres Võrk, from the Praxis think tank, believes that the retirement age must be raised in Estonia.”We cannot rely on the state pension system. It is clear that rules change in the long run, and the only thing that we can tell today’s youth is to distribute their risks,”
A major problem, economist Andres Arrak said, is low population growth. “If there are two taxpayers for every old-age pensioner, which will soon be the reality in most of Europe, then the social models originating from the decades in which there were five or six taxpayers per pensioner, can no longer be funded,” said Arrak.