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Speaker(s): Dr Bernard H. Casey
Chair: Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis

Recorded on 14 January 2014 at Cañada Blanch Room, Cowdray House

Much of the discussion about the impact of societal ageing in Cyprus has concentrated on the fiscal costs associated with the public pension scheme. Less well known is the system of supplementary retirement provision in Cyprus. Since the Second World War, however, a relative complex structure was built up based on provident funds and pension plans. As well as being complex, the supplementary system was inequitable - public sector employees were considerably better provided for than private sector employees, and up to a third of the workforce had no supplementary provident or pension fund coverage at all.

The financial and economic crisis, which hit Cyprus hard, had particularly dramatic consequences for its supplementary pension system. Provision for employees in the public sector was abolished completely, at least for new entrants. Provident funds, and those pension schemes that were funded, were victims of the "haircut", since a substantial proportion of their resources were held as savings accounts in banks. These deposits were large enough to be "uninsured", and, if they were with either of the two largest banks, they were "bailed-in" under the terms of the Troika's rescue package.

Whether a system of supplementary provision will be rebuilt, and if so, how it might look, is an open question.

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