SeLFIES for Portugal - An Innovative Pan European Retirement Solution
Forthcoming in "Pension Plans in the EU Internal Market," edited by Prof. Nazare Cabral; Published by Springer, 2019
26 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2019
Date Written: March 10, 2019
With a rapidly aging population, Portugal faces some serious pension challenges including a Social Security system which is under pressure, and pension benefits gradually approaching levels that will require individuals to supplement Social Security with private savings. In addition, Portugal has a low rate of financial literacy and hence transferring the responsibility of retirement planning to the general population runs a major risk of many individuals retiring poor. While some attempts have been made to create private pension plans, they have not had the level of acceptance as has been the case in some of the Anglo-Saxon countries. This paper argues that the government of Portugal could issue a new form of Sovereign Contingent Debt Instrument (SCDI) that can address the growing retirement challenge and achieve other goals as well. SeLFIES (Standard-of-Living indexed, Forward-starting Income-only Securities) are a new type of bond that greatly simplify retirement planning to the level of basic financial literacy and can not only address retirement security, but also improve the government’s debt financing and funding for infrastructure. Finally, since Portugal is part of the EU, the demand for these new bond instruments could be Euro-wide thereby providing both a Pan European solution and additional benefits to the Portuguese government in reducing its overall financing cost.
Keywords: SeLFIES, Portugal, Retirement Security, Complementary DC System, Financial Innovation, Market Completion, Financial Literacy
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G15, G18, H54, H55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation