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TRNC SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM BEING DISCUSSED AT EMU
Published Date: Thursday, 26 January 2023
“Our Faculty Proposes Solutions for the Problems of the Country”
Delivering the opening speech of the panel, EMU Business and Economics Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. Mustafa Besim noted that as a faculty they organized various panels on the problems of the country. Stating that the subject of electricity was discussed in the previous panel, Prof. Dr. Besim mentioned that the social security issue will also be discussed in this panel. Emphasizing that the academia has a duty of service to the community in addition to its routine duties such as lectures, training and research, Prof. Dr. Besim stated that as a faculty, they are working on pointing out the important problems of the country and suggesting solutions for these problems. Noting that factors such as global warming, aging population and pandemics in the last 10 years create additional costs to the social security system, Prof. Dr. Besim said that especially in unstable economies, during periods of high inflation, social security funds melted and this situation puts financial strains on the countries. Underlining the negative effect of low participation rate in TRNC labour market, Prof. Dr. Besim pointed to the problems of skills mismatch and informality in labor markets.
“Women are More Prone to Inequality in Employment”
One of the panelists, academic staff member of the Faculty of Business and Economics, Prof. Dr. Fatma Güven Lisaniler stated that she has been working on labor market and development issues and it is not possible not to deal with the issue of women while working on these issues. Questioning the position of women in the labor market in the TRNC, Prof. Dr. Lisaniler noted that the standing point is important when carrying out women’s studies. Stating that people are born with equal rights and, therefore, if equal opportunities and conditions are provided, they will achieve equal results. Prof. Dr. Lisaniler pointed out that if equal results are not achieved, this is not a women’s problem, but a social problem and should be resolved through social policies. Stating that there is an employment gap in the labor market in terms of opportunities and conditions in the TRNC, Prof. Dr. Lisaniler emphasized that there is a lack of representation in the upper echelon as well. Pointing out that the wage gap is also observed when the conditions are considered, Prof. Dr. Lisaniler said “We see that there are inequalities in opportunities and conditions for women in the TRNC labor market”. Prof. Dr. Lisaniler also drew attention to the fact that while the participation of women in the workforce is 46 percent compared to the world average, this figure is around 30 percent in the TRNC, and emphasized that this rate should increase.
“We Should Solve the Problem Together with the Tax System”
EMU Business and Economics Faculty academic staff member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hasan Ulaş Altıok also said that he does not agree that the TRNC Social Security System has become sustainable. Stating that there are pensioners who will have to continue their retirement life with an income far below the minimum wage and that there is no money to be transferred from the system to the health sector, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Altıok stated that a system in which nearly 85% of the participants receiving minimum wage within the system cannot be sustainable. Providing examples with numbers, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Altıok stated that 50 percent of the pensions are paid out of the premiums paid. Stating that around 138 thousand people declared their income in 2021, the total premium is 1 billion TL and the total pension is 2.4 billion TL, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Altıok stated that the asset-passive ratio, that is, the ratio of how many employees pay a retiree, is 3.37 in these figures. Pointing out that most of the active employees in the system are foreign labor force, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Altıok stated that the stay of these people in the country also has a flexible structure. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Altıok stated that he believes that the problem should be solved not only through premium but also with the tax system. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Altıok pointed out that the system should be turned into a reliable pension system. At the end of the panel, panelists were presented with plaques of appreciation by EMU Board of Trustees President Dr. Özcenk, Rector Prof. Dr. Hocanın and EMU Board of Trustees member Kutup.