The European Commission is reviewing a letter from nine member states that want to alter how public debt is calculated to account for state pension reform efforts.
“This letter draws attention to the reforms in pension regimes in some member states and the way this is reflected in the public statistics,” European Union spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said Tuesday in Brussels.
The letter, dated Aug. 6, was initiated by Poland and addressed to the European Commission and EU President Herman van Rompuy, according to Magdalena Kobos, a spokeswoman for the Polish Finance Ministry. Officials from Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Sweden also signed the letter.
Poland and Hungary have sought to change the way the EU calculates the debt of member states since the late 1990s, when they reorganized their pension systems by allowing workers to choose between state-run and private pension funds. The issue has resurfaced since the global financial crisis swelled budget deficits across Europe.
The signatories “have jointly asked to change the way country debt is calculated, so the costs of pension reforms are taken into account,” Ms. Kobos said.
Mr. Altafaj said it was “highly relevant” to raise the pension issue at this time.
The commission is “analyzing the arguments put forward” in the letter and “answers will be drafted over the next few days,” he said.