Social system
5th European Innovation Summit
Renewable energy sources

Is the idea of social system fading away? - published in Parlamentný Kuriér 2010

Interview concerned social security

Published in June 2010


Dušan LUKÁŠIK acted as the head of analytical work on the Pillar II pension reform in 1999 - 2002 and as an advisor to the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic. His opinion that changes to details can destroy good systems will be explained in detail during an interview, by Anna Komová.


The issue of the social system in Slovakia has become a current topic for discussion again. The deficit of the Social Insurance Agency has substantially increased, social systems, together with public money need solutions. The question remains, what is the best solution for Slovakia.

Very often the issue of social system includes solutions that simplify the problem into black and white views, and are often subject to objectives of a particular governing party. Unreasonable money paid out on commissions in 2004 - 2005 amounting to billions of Slovak crowns implies the misuse of political decisions for the benefit of individual interest. Throughout the period of eight years one could hear opinions that the Pay-as you-go insurance system  needs to be eliminated and the capital fund increased, while on the other hand, it was said three years ago that the labour revenue was higher than the revenue from the capital fund, therefore the capital fund functioning needs to be stopped, or at least restricted. As usual, extreme solutions are not the suitable ones and provide just a restricted view of the problem, while in the case of the social system, it appears its purpose and implementation seem to be fading away. The main task of social system is to solve social risk of a citizen and his family. The social risk and its categories are precisely defined by the law. The reason why social system is so complex relates to the fact that the complex system of social relations interacts with comparably complex economic system of the Slovak Republic, being connected with economic environment in the rest of the world. These systems dynamically interact whilst at the same time the economy system itself is dynamically evolving. To grasp complexity of such development requires both abstract thinking, in order to define essential parameters of such system, and prognostic analysis methods. Moreover, with modern instruments of capital market and risk management, the complexity is yet to become greater.

There has long been a debate in media on "profitability of first or second pillar". What is your opinion on this issue?

This question was ridiculously raised by media. The initial solution for social system was to fund social risk continuously in so called Pay-as you-go system, including pension, disability or widow's pension and other social risks related to loss of income. The aim of the initial system was to economically finance such social risks so that the society has lowest possible expenditure in order to fulfil the given criteria for benefits coverage. This shall minimize expenditures as a whole, while maintaining basic standard of living of citizens who are facing social risks. The issue of social system needs to be solved in such a way as to motivate an individual - a citizen by suitable means, to prevent misuse by citizens and, at the same time ensuring fulfilment of its purpose. The idea of social system is not to provide luxury, but ensure a dignified living for everyone who is experiencing a particular risk, being classified as a social risk. The way the issue of social system suitability or non-suitability has been discussed in debates in Medias; there were two different groups of proponents. We can say that arguments that the public heard from them had no value at all, moreover, that they had no relevant sense as to the social system solution whatsoever. These arguments were based on accounting principles, with politicians counting votes they would receive at the end, and not how to solve the problem of sustainable social system throughout dynamic demography changes and economy development. The reason is that solving the social system must be based on activating the inner strengths of the social system  in order to influence positively formation of the labour market and to promote establishing and sustaining the three-generation family. The importance of social system to anyone is that he encounters it before birth, through his life, and even after death.