“The decisions made by former administrations and parliaments in the past four decades created 4.1 quadrillion rial ($135.6 billion) worth of financial burden for the CSRO,” he argued. For example, the previous administration, headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, interfered with how the organization calculates pensions payable to retirees, but never made contributions in exchange for the commitments it imposed on the CSRO, Eslamian said.
There are several other pension funds in dire straits. According to Donya-e Eqtesad, the Armed Forces Social Security Organization has a potential support ratio of 0.89. The figure for the Oil Pension Fund Investment Company stands at 1.4, for the Ports and Maritime Organization’s Pension Fund at 0.62, and for the Banks Pension Fund (BPF) at 1.6.
The low support ratios, which vividly portray the heavy burden put on the working population by the non-working elderly, have caused deep concern within President Hassan Rouhani’s administration about the future of Iran’s pension system. This is particularly so because in 35 years, Iran will no longer have a youthful population. According to data from the United Nations Population Fund, the potential support ratio in Iran will be 2.7 by 2050, a drop from 14.29 in 2000. This trajectory will put overwhelming pressure on future government budgets.
Eslamian believes structural reform could address these problems and enable his organization to bounce back to life in the long run. According to him, the latter could be achieved if the government pays its debts to pension funds and stops interfering in their affairs.