A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has underlined the fact that Argentina has a larger proportion of citizens earning pensions when compared to other countries in the world.
The IMF document also stressed many of those allowances were disproportionately high when compared to wages of active workers in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, which include the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
The report is dated March 25 and is attached to the understanding between Argentina and the financial agency, but its contents made the headlines in Argentina over the weekend. Argentina and Brazil are both vying to join the OECD.
According to the IMF, Argentina's high pension expenditure is linked to broad coverage and generous benefits. The number of pension beneficiaries represents 140% of the population over 65 years of age while in OECD countries it is 109%.
The IMF suggested raising the retirement age, which is currently 65 years for men and 60 years for women, in addition to reducing the number of beneficiaries as well as eliminating moratoriums (programs whereby people who have not contributed in full or in part to their retirement funding are granted a stipendium from which the missing contributions are deducted).
The agency also highlighted that the average value of pensions as a percentage of active salaries exceeded 90% versus 58% in OECD countries, due to the existence of special regimes, both at federal and provincial levels.
The resurfacing of such a report has drawn concern amid Argentines nearing their retirement ages, particularly at a time when Economy Minister Martín Guzmán is said to be preparing a new batch of measures to fend off pressure from within the ruling Frente de Todos (FdT) to have him replaced.
Guzmán is planning a new tax on unexpected revenues and other initiatives to curb inflation, which is way above target figures. In a country where pensions are handled by the state agency ANSES, fewer beneficiaries mean less funding is required.