Working – for life

Victims of globalisation, digitalisation and discrimination over fifty have a hard time left? One might think that work is unfairly distributed in Switzerland and that it is becoming increasingly difficult for those willing to work to earn a decent living. We have full employment. So why the scaremongering? Fears are an excellent way of making politics and attracting media attention with individual examples. But the problem is quite different. We will still be happy about the achievements of digitisation and grateful for all those who want to and are able to continue working after 65 because pensions are no longer sufficient. Currently, ten workers pay social security contributions for three AHV recipients. In 2030 – a good ten years from now – only five people will pay social security contributions for two AHV recipients. I will be 77 in 2045 and should do well with the working population, because only two people are still in work for each person dependent on social security for reasons of age. How high do the AHV deductions on wages have to be? Exactly: much higher than today. And that despite the fact that the number of people in employment will increase by 10 percent or half a million by then, according to projections by the Federal Statistical Office. But the number of people over 65 will almost double in the same period from 1.5 to 2.7 million. This is called demographic change.

Boom for Care-Economy and the crafts sector

Anyone who plans entrepreneurially for the future invests in business models that keep pensioners working and in structures that strengthen compatibility and inclusion so that all those able to work can and want to be employed. Anyone looking for a profession of the future will go into the health and social services sector and into craft trades, since office work and education are much easier to digitalise than hairdressing a frail person, changing a bandage and renovating a kitchen. I predict a boom for the care economy and the craft trades. If we build up and find the skilled workers for it. Otherwise we will be poor. Column by Esther-Mirjam de Boer, published in the Handelszeitung on 24 January 2019. PS: half of all women without school-age children in Switzerland work mini part-time. As a society we can not afford this for much longer. We need effective steering measures to distribute the work better among all those able to work. Individual taxation, for example.

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