Even before the euro crisis, people were worried about Europe’s pension bomb.
State-funded pension obligations in 19 of the European Union nations were about five times higher than their combined gross debt, according to a study commissioned by the European Central Bank. The countries in the report compiled by the Research Center for Generational Contracts at Freiburg University in 2009 had almost 30 trillion euros ($39.3 trillion) of projected obligations to their existing populations.
...Stable or falling birthrates, plus rising life expectancies, are adding to pressures, with the proportion of economic output devoted to spending on retirement benefits projected to rise by a quarter to 14 percent by 2060, according to the ECB report.
Europe has the highest proportion of people aged over 60 of any region in the world, and that is forecast to rise to almost 35 percent by 2050 from 22 percent in 2009, according to a report from the United Nations. That compares with a global estimate of 22 percent by 2050, up from 11 percent in 2009.
...In so-called developed countries, the average lifespan will reach almost 83 by 2050, up from about 75 in 2009, the UN said.
...State pension obligations in France and Germany are three times the size of their economies, according to data compiled by Mercer.
Shedlock concludes: "The punchline to this economic disaster came in the middle of the article: 'Pension managers and governments are relying on economic growth to safeguard the promises they make.'"
Suffice it to say that Europe will be lucky to average any growth -- even one percent -- over the next five years given its imminent set of cascading defaults.
And, not to belabor the point, but this should serve as yet another alarm klaxon for any American concerned with the future of this Republic. That, of course, leaves out liberals, progressives and the rest of the Democrat Party, which appears bent on national suicide.
Image: Business Insider.