Council of Europe: Resolution ResCSS(2000)31 on the application of the European code of social security and its protocol by Sweden

COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

 

Resolution ResCSS(2000)31
on the application of the European code of social security
and its protocol by Sweden
(Period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999)

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers
on 7 December 2000
at the 733rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

 

  

The Committee of Ministers, 

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), as modified by the provisions of its Protocol (hereinafter referred to as the “Protocol”), and  with a view to supervising the application of these two instruments by the Contracting Parties; 

Whereas the Code and the Protocol, signed on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since that date have been binding on Sweden, which ratified them on 25 September 1965;

 

Whereas, when ratifying the Code and the Protocol, the Government of Sweden stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts: 

- Part II of the Code, on “medical care”,

- Part III of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on “sickness benefit”,

- Part IV of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on “unemployment benefit”,

- Part V of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on “old-age benefit”,

- Part VII of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on “family benefit”,

- Part VIII of the Code, on “maternity benefit”,

- Part IX of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on “invalidity benefit”,

- Part X of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, on “survivors' benefit”; 

Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, the Government of Sweden submitted, on 19 July 1999, its 32nd annual report and additional information on the application of the Code, as modified by the Protocol, for the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999; 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 70th session in November-December 1999;

 

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 74, this report and the conclusions adopted thereon by the above-mentioned committee were examined by the Committee of Experts on Standard-setting Instruments in the Social Security Field at its 2nd meeting from 13 to 15 September 2000;

 

Having considered the conclusions reached by the above-mentioned committee after examination of the aforesaid documents;

 

Recalling Resolution CSS (2000) 16 on the 31st report submitted by the Government of Sweden in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, as modified by the Protocol,

 

Notes: 

1. from the government's report and the attached documentation, that significant changes have been made to the old-age, disability and survivors' benefits by the pension reform adopted by the Parliament in 1998. The new unified old-age pension scheme, which came into force on 1 January 1999, replaced the basic pension (FP) and the national supplementary pension (ATP) by the income-related pension financed through redistribution of paid-in contributions under the PAYG system and pre-funded pension financed from individual savings accounts managed by independent fund managers. Pensions will start to be paid out under the new rules in 2001, with transitional provisions covering persons born between 1938 and 1953; persons born in 1954 and later will receive all of their pension under the new rules. The principal features of the new old-age pension system include: pensions based on lifelong earnings, including fictitious amounts credited for periods of childcare, national service and disability for which pension contributions are paid in full by the State or the relevant social insurance scheme; flexible retirement age with no upper age-limit; guaranteed state supplementary pensions for those who have not earned pensions considered to be sufficient; actual pension amounts determined with regard to the remaining life expectancy of the person concerned; possibility for  the capital accumulated in individual accounts to be claimed in the form of pre-funded pension or used for investment in security funds; transferability of pre-funded pension rights between married or registered partners, etc. 

As regards the parallel reforms of the permanent and temporary disability pension and of survivors' pension, the Committee of Ministers notes from the available information that they have not yet been finalised. The Parliament adopted guidelines for a reform of the disability pension on 15 May 1998 and the new rules will come into force on 1 January 2001. The Survivors' Pensions Commission presented its report in September 1998;

2. concerning Part IX (Invalidity benefit), Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol (in conjunction with Articles 56 and 57), that in its previous conclusions, the Committee of Ministers has asked the government to supply statistical information on the level of the disability pension for a standard beneficiary whose inability did not exceed two-thirds, as provided for by Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol. In reply, the government indicates that the Swedish legislation provides for the disability pension to be payable in the form of 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the pension. The Government supplied detailed statistics with respect to a standard beneficiary whose inability to pursue gainful activity is reduced by three-quarters and whose invalidity benefit will amount to three-quarters of a full disability pension, which shows that in such case, the benefit, together with the basic child allowance and an income-tested housing allowance paid to a beneficiary whose wage is equal to that of a skilled manual male employee referred to in Article 65, paragraph 6. a., of the Code, represents 60.2% of such a wage including the basic child allowance and housing allowance.

The Committee of Ministers notes this information and, in particular, the fact that, unlike in previous reports, the government has included the housing allowance in addition to the basic child allowance in the calculation of the replacement level of the disability pension for a standard beneficiary. It wishes to point out in this respect that the housing allowance is income-tested and therefore cannot not be taken into account for the purpose of assessing the level of the invalidity benefit under the Code. It further observes that, according to the statistics supplied by the government, the disability pension in case of inability of three-quarters, recalculated without the housing allowance, in 1998 would have nearly reached the 50% level prescribed by the Protocol for an invalid with a two-thirds inability; 

3. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, that, in its conclusions of 1997, it asked the government to supply detailed information on the incidence of the new integrated unemployment insurance scheme introduced as of 1 January 1998 on the application of each article of this part of the Code in the manner requested by the report form. However, this information was not included in the government's subsequent reports;  

Finds that Sweden continues to give full effect to the parts of the Code and the Protocol which have been accepted, subject to receiving additional information on Part IX (Invalidity benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, which is requested below;

Decides to invite the Government of Sweden:

1. to indicate in its next report detailed information on the impact of the pension reform measures on the application of each article of parts V (Old-age benefit), IX (Invalidity benefit) and X (Survivors' benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, in the manner requested by the report form, together with the text of the new legislation and, if possible, its translation into English;

2. concerning Part IX (Invalidity benefit), Article 54 of the Code, as amended by the Protocol (in conjunction with Articles 56 and 57), to ascertain that this level continues to be attained in Sweden, to include in its next report the updated statistical information necessary for the calculation of the level of invalidity benefit for a standard beneficiary whose inability does not exceed two-thirds and to specify, with reference to the corresponding legal provisions, whether an insured person with a two-thirds inability would in fact be entitled to receive the disability pension in the form of 75% of a full pension, or, if the level of his inability falls short of the three-quarters, whether he would be entitled to a disability pension in the form of 50% of a full pension. In any case, the Committee of Ministers would like the government to base its calculations in the next report on the level of the disability pension to which an insured person with two-thirds inability would actually be entitled under the legislation and to specify, if possible in its next report, to what extent the method of calculation of the replacement level of the disability benefit under the current legislation would be affected by the application of the new rules which will enter into force in 2001;

 

3. concerning Part IV (Unemployment benefit) of the Code, as amended by the Protocol, to provide this previously requested information, which would greatly facilitate the task of analysing the relevant provisions of the new legislation. 



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