This development in the number of elderly people inside the Kingdom, portends difficulties that pension funds and protection systems will face, especially after the failure of the pension system reform recipe approved by the previous government led by Abdelilah Benkirane of the Islamic Justice and Development Party (2011-2017).
The High Commission for Planning (Official Statistics Office) revealed that the number of elderly people will be slightly more than 6 million by 2030, which is an increase of 42 percent compared to 2021, and this category will represent 15.4 percent of the total population.
Academic and social protection expert, Khaled Bukaish, considered that “this situation is worrying, because the growing aging will result in a decline in the availability of the job factor, and will harm the qualifications for growth, in addition to its negative impact on the sustainability of social protection systems, especially pension funds and health coverage.”
The expert in social protection continued, in his statement to “Sky News Arabia”, that “the growing aging will negatively affect the sustainability of social protection systems, especially pension funds and health coverage, which will necessarily lead to future generations bearing the high financial burden of the retirement systems.”
In view of this situation, the expert believes that the options are limited to “extending the contribution periods and thus raising the legal age for retirement, increasing the contribution rate, or reducing the retirement pension.”
Aging and chronic diseases
The population transition is one of the main challenges that the doctor, researcher in health policies and systems, Tayeb Hicidi focuses on, as he monitors the imbalances of the Moroccan health system, including the problems of social protection systems and health coverage.
The researcher in health policies and systems highlighted, in his speech to “Sky News Arabia”, that “the association of the elderly with chronic diseases will increase the demand for health care and increase the expenses of compulsory insurance for the disease.”
As Hadi sees, “there is an obstacle to insurance subscribers with limited incomes benefiting from health care, as they bear up to 50 percent of the expenses from their own budgets, despite the monthly contributions that they and the operators pay on their behalf,” adding that these “” The percentage is increasing from year to year rather than declining.”
This matter “constitutes a major challenge to various public policies in light of the absence of a retirement system based on the principle of social assistance, and the poor coverage rate for the elderly in Morocco,” according to academic and social protection expert Khaled Boukaish.
The priority of the new government
In a vigorous pursuit of reforming these pension systems, this was scheduled to take place during the outgoing government term, but it seems that the project has been postponed along with many reforms to the government that is expected to be formed in the course of this week.
One of the most important priorities of the new government, headed by the leader of the “National Rally of Independents” party (a liberal centrist), will be to find financial, logistical and human resources for the success of the “social protection” project, which will cost the state treasury a total of 5.7 billion dollars.
The timetable for the implementation of this project has been set in 5 years (2021-2025), starting with the generalization of basic compulsory insurance for sickness during the years 2021 and 2022, followed by the generalization of family allowances during the years 2023 and 2024, provided that participation in retirement systems is expanded and benefiting from compensation for loss work in 2025.
“Perhaps the Moroccan legislator’s awareness of the seriousness of this situation and his desire to benefit from the period of demographic privilege witnessed by the pyramid of age groups in Morocco is what prompted him to adopt the framework law related to the generalization of social protection,” said academic and social protection expert, Khaled Boukaish.
The source also indicated that this reform project “will enable the integration of about 5 million people from the active population who are engaged in work and do not currently have any coverage related to retirement, through the full activation of the pension system for the categories of professionals, independent workers and non-wage persons who engage in a private activity. to include all concerned groups and to adopt the necessary mechanisms for this purpose.