Pension Fracas

June 11, 2011 (LBO) – The International Monetary Fund had “nothing to do” with a controversial ‘pension’ plan for Sri Lanka’s private sector workers involving a third forced savings scheme, an official said.

Rulers, a handful of their close associates can get a pension after only five years in office under a law passed by an earlier administration headed by Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party.

Aitken said the IMF understood from its discussion with the government that Sri Lanka had an ageing population and the government wanted to structure a pension.

“This is not an area that the IMF generally involve ourselves. It is up to society how they structure social safety nets,” he said.

“How we would address it is, that we would look at whatever proposals that are there and we would evaluate if it would have a macro-economic impact, would it have a budgetary impact.

“But beyond that we would really not get involved in the design of pension reforms.”

Sri Lanka’s private sector pension funds, far being a burden on the budget are in fact the main source of bridging them.

The main fund built out of private sector salaries – the Employees Provident Fund – has long been