The Norwegian government has announced it is setting up a panel of politicial representatives and pension experts from various sectors, to investigate how successful the last pension reform was – and pinpoint new work that now needs to be done.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said: “The pension reform is perhaps the most important welfare reform of recent times.”
It was therefore crucial, she said, to evaluate whether the legislative overhaul was working as intended and consider whether any adjustments were now needed.
The government has given the new pensions committee nearly two years to do its work, setting a deadline for its final report of March 2022.
Kristin Skogen Lund, CEO of media company Schibsted, has been named as the committee’s leader.
“The main point of the committee’s work is that we want a pension system that is economically and socially sustainable and one that emphasises the value of being able to keep working,” Solberg said.
The government said the committee had been given extensive duties – to evaluate whether the long-term goals of the reform had been able to be achieved, and to assess the need for adjustments that could ensure the financial and social sustainability of the pension system.
The system should provide good pension levels, it said, while ensuring reasonable burden sharing both within each generation and between generations.
“It is therefore important to stick to the main principles of the pension reform,” the government said in its announcement.
The reform a decade ago was broadly aimed at increasing pensions flexibility while at the same time encouraging people to work longer.
The new committee comprises representatives appointed by Norway’s political parties as well as professionals with specialist knowledge of pensions and public finances, the government said.
Labour market interests would be involved via a council which would be established to follow the committee’s work and provide input, it said.
Representatives of youth parties would also be invited to provide ideas, in order to make sure the younger generations were involved in shaping the pension system of the future, it added.
Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, the labour and social affairs minister, said a pension system had to be predictable and long term, and it could take decades for changes to have full effect.
“For this very reason, it is important to facilitate broad political settlements in pension policy,” he said.
Besides politicians, the 12-strong committee includes four professors - Ola Grytten of NHH Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen; Axel West Pedersen of the Institute for Social Research in Oslo; Ragnar Torvik of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and Kjell Vaage, professor at the University of Bergen.