International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses the findings and recommendations in the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for Sweden in the areas of insurance sector regulation and supervision. The regulatory and supervisory framework has been enhanced since the 2011 FSAP. The Finansinspektionen (Financial Supervisory Authority, FI) is the principal regulatory body, with responsibility for prudential regulation, consumer protection, and macroprudential regulation. Some measures are recommended to strengthen solvency regulation further. Solvency II should be applied in full to occupational pensions insurance, unless the government decides to create a separate national regime for occupational pensions, as exists in many other countries.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Japan has a universal public pension system. Social security spending is a key fiscal policy challenge in Japan. The 2004 pension reforms have increased the ratio of the government subsidy to the basic pension benefit. Three reform measures are necessary to improve pension finances: an increase in pension eligibility age, a reduction in the pension benefit, and an increase in contributions. Eliminating the preferential tax treatments of pension income and collecting pension contributions from dependent spouses could contribute to fiscal savings.
Mr. Vladimir Klyuev, Mr. Martin Mühleisen, and Mr. Tamim Bayoumi
Robust GDP growth, declining unemployment, low and stable inflation, and a string of fiscal and current account surpluses -- it's a record to be envied. These outcomes in Canada owe much to sound macroeconomic policies, as well as to a favorable external environment. This book focuses on these policies and the economy's salient features, including its close trade integration with the United States, large commodity sector, and substantial decentralization and regional diversity. It outlines what is unique about the Canadian experience and sheds light on policies and philosophies that can be fruitfully applied in other economies.
This Selected Issues paper explores the economic consequences of aging and its impact on long-term fiscal sustainability for Cyprus. The study analyzes the potential macroeconomic impact of different approaches to deal with the fiscal costs of aging. It goes beyond a simple quantification of the fiscal impact by explicitly examining the trade-offs of alternative policies within the context of a general equilibrium overlapping generation framework. It is concluded that addressing the fiscal consequences of aging will require increasing the retirement age to 65 years, followed by further increases to keep up with demographic trends.
This Selected Issues paper of Portugal highlights the discussions on the requirement of policies to overcome structural and cyclical impediments to growth, and secure fiscal consolidation. It analyzes the strength of the company balance sheets in supporting the rebound from recession, and also the links between corporate balance sheet strength and investment. It reviews the challenges in the Portuguese economy, the impact of European Union enlargement on Portuguese trade, the pension prospects, and the implications of various policy reform scenarios.
This paper explores the factors that have led to a Canada-U.S. productivity gap using a sectoral growth accounting approach. Both fiscal and monetary policies have had significant effects on the saving rate. The Canadian dollar’s appreciation was followed by a protracted period of exchange rate weakness. This paper reviews the institutional aspects of Canada’s real return bond program. The Canadian system provides a successful model for pension reform. Free trade has helped promote the integration of U.S. and Canadian economies, but significant differences remain.
This paper discusses the strategic building blocks of pension reform. The early sections set out the simple economics of pensions and discuss a series of myths which have proved remarkably persistent. Subsequent sections draw together the conclusions for policy design from earlier theoretical discussion, set out the prerequisites which any pension reform must respect, and discuss the range of choices facing policymakers. The main conclusions are threefold: the key variable is effective government; from an economic perspective the difference between PAYG and funding is second order; and the range of potential choice over pension design is wide.
This Selected Issues paper describes a variety of methodologies for estimating a country’s potential output level and presents empirical estimates for Sweden. The paper explains why these methods produce a variety of results, some of which are more plausible than others. The paper looks more closely at one aspect of growth in potential output: how it has been affected by the structural policy improvements of the past several years. The paper examines the pattern of output and unemployment over time to separate permanent changes from cyclical and other temporary changes.
This Selected Issues paper on Sweden reviews economic developments in Sweden during 1994–98. In 1994, the general government expenditure-to-GDP ratio stood at 70 percent, up from below 60 percent of GDP in the late 1990s; meanwhile, the revenue ratio was just under 60 percent of GDP, down from about 65 percent of GDP in the late 1980s. On the expenditure side, transfers to households accounted for 37 percent of general government expenditure in 1994, subsidies and other transfers to businesses 10 percent, consumption 39 percent, investment 4 percent, and interest payments 10 percent.