The Austrian government has finally found a new head for its pensions advisory board – Alterssicherungskomission (old age security commission) – a board tackling pension finances created by the government in 2000.

Christine Mayrhuber took over the position this month from its former head Walter Pöltner, a politician and legal professional, who quit in autumn 2021.

Back then Pöltner dislcosed he was resigning “in frustration” because politicians did not take the long-term financing of pensions or of care work seriously enough.

Mayrhuber is deputy director at the Austrian Economic Research Institute (Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitut, WIFO). She is the first person with a scientific background to head the committee, which is made up of politicians, representatives of ministries and social partners.

Christine Mayrhuber at WIFO

Source: WIFO

Christine Mayrhuber

No reforms yet

The new commission head told Austrian media she would not expect any reforms to the country’s pension system before 2033. That is the year when the currently ongoing increase to the retirement age for women will be finalised.

The statutory retirement age for both sexes will by then be 65 years from currently 65 for men and 60 for women.

Mayrhuber noted that after that point in time it might be considered to increase the deductions to pensions withdrawn before the statutory retirement age. She added: “Politicians urgently need an overview of the financial development [of pension payments}.”

But at a conference in Vienna last week Pöltner told delegates: “There are enough figures available. It is only that at the Alterssicherungskommission the cart is put before the horse.”

He referred to ministries preparing the available data and agreeing on reports before involving the commission which had been created to advise them.

Mayrhuber confirmed in an interview that “what happened at the committee so far, was not optimal”.

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