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September 22, 2011 How to Make Health Care and Retirement Systems Fit for the Future

Demographic change is putting pressure on social security systems. Both government health care systems and government retirement systems are having to cope with increasing costs. Thus, private options are becoming ever more imperative. “Many people, however, do not plan for retirement adequately,” says Dennis J. Snower, Kiel Institute president and director of the Global Economic Symposium (GES). Further, he says that this is why the government systems need to be changed so that they provide incentives for people to plan better: “People should be given the opportunity to choose from options that fit their own individual needs.” This will be the topic of the GES panel session entitled Improving Retirement and Health Choices.

Aging societies pose a great challenge to health care and retirement systems. Increased life expectancies are causing higher health care and retirement provision costs, especially because the proportion of the working population that pays into health care and retirement systems is becoming smaller. One of the shortcomings of these systems is that they do not allow people to choose between various provision options even though their individual needs are different.

Are the current health care and retirement systems efficient enough? Could more efficient systems be developed that would utilize limited resources better? Would systems that use accounts be an alternative? And how could such systems allow people to choose provision options that would best suit their own individual needs? These and other questions will be discussed at the Global Economic Symposium in Kiel.

Kiel will turn into a think tank on 4–6 October, when more than 400 highranking experts from business, government, academia, and civil societies will meet for the fourth Global Economic Symposium (GES), which is being jointly hosted by the Kiel institute for the World Economy and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics (ZBW) – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics. Among those expected to participate are Hans-Paul Bürkner, President and CEO of the Boston Consulting Group, René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Joaquín Almunia, Commissioner for Competition, European Commission, Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Belgium, Anders Borg, Finance Minister, Sweden, Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of Finance, Turkey, and Erik Stark Maskin and Oliver E. Williamson, both Nobel laureates in economics.

To register to attend, please submit the accreditation application form by September 26. It may not be possible to accept late registrations for security reasons. Applications made on the days of the event will not be accepted. Our media agency will gladly help you arrange interviews. Please mention on your accreditation application form whom you would like to interview.

Please note that the conference will be held in English.

In case of questions regarding the accreditation, please contact the Kiel Institute’s media agency:

Mann beisst Hund
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D-22761 Hamburg
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Tel.: +49 (0)40/890 696-25
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