The use on pension savings in the country it is once again the focus of debate after the statements by Jaime Dussán, president of Colpensiones. The official assured that these resources could be used to finance projects such as infrastructure «such as the train between Buenaventura and Barranquilla.»
(Read: Colpensiones: criticism for the use that would be given to pension savings).
In addition, that in the future the entity could be a first or second tier bank:
«first and second tier banking, in such a way that it gives us the possibility of making investments that will be much more profitable compared to maintaining banks that definitely do not provide benefits«, said the president of Colpensiones on Christmas weekend.
The statements had to be clarified by President Gustavo Petro who assured that «it is not true that the savings that the government makes from its transfers to Colpensiones today will be spent tomorrow, with the reform, on infrastructure. That is what private pension funds are doing today with billions of pesos. See it on the Ruta del Sol II and on the Chirajara bridge».
Is it viable to use pension savings in infrastructure?
Now, the discussion is centered around its feasibility. According to Daniel Wills, technical vice president of Asofondos, this type of statement is a sign that the Government has outlined its proposal, but considers that there are still many important details to be known.
(Also: Petro denies the president of Colpensiones).
“What cannot be lost sight of is that workers’ pension savings are sacred. Given the challenges that the aging of the population imposes on us in the coming years, not taking care of and growing pension savings is an irresponsible actWills said.
For his part, Kevin Hartmann, a lawyer, an expert on pension issues, said that this proposal is bad and is also unconstitutional, since in article 48 it is clear in saying that the resources dedicated to social security they must be used to pay pensions and cover the risks of the system.
“It is important to see the legal framework that regulates it. Dussán’s statements are counterproductive”, he commented.
(Keep reading: Pension savings would be used to make the Buenaventura – Barranquilla train).
Mauricio Olivera, Administrative and Financial Vice Chancellor of the Universidad de Los Andes and former president of Colpensiones explained that the AFPs have used these resources for investment in infrastructure, but not in the case of distribution systems such as Infrastructure. There is a very big mistake there, especially since we know that the State has many deficiencies.
“One thing is investment and another is social spending. The first involves the savings that people have and that can give a return to improve my pension, which differs from the second option because it does not generate an economic benefit for me.”, he explained.
For Olivera it is clear that the great objective with the reform is to increase coverage, even more so because 1 in 4 older adults, that is, only 25 percent, has a pension and only half of the workers can contribute. «The discussion about whether the money has to be in the Private Funds or Colpensiones does not help at all. The discussion should focus on the labor market«, I point.
With information from EL TIEMPO*