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Senate committee discloses insurance failures

Savings will be made on invalidity benefit


A key parliamentary watchdog committee has criticised the government for not doing enough to monitor and administer invalidity insurance spending.

The committee called on the government to take a more active role in the operation of the scheme, which has run up a SFr6 billion ($4.77 billion) debt mountain.

In a report published on Monday, the watchdog body criticised the cabinet and the Federal Social Insurance Office for not showing initiative, adding that one in 20 people was now receiving some form of invalidity benefit.

And it argued that major problems behind the steep rise in invalidity payments had been practically ignored.

The committee decided to set up its inquiry last year as a result of the increasing number of people claiming invalidity benefit and the growing deficit in the scheme in recent years.

Checks and balances

The report said although some improvements had been made, checks and balances for the insurance scheme were far from modern and professional.

And access to data required for the smooth operation of the scheme was not always optimal.

With a list of recommendations, the committee has called on the government to formulate and put into action a global monitoring strategy for running the insurance scheme.

The committee said it expected the government to reply to its recommendations by the end of the year.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The invalidity insurance scheme ended 2004 with a deficit of SFr1.6 billion and has total debts exceeding SFr6 billion.
The Swiss government wants to save SFr596 million per year from the invalidity insurance budget between 2007 and 2025.
In the latest planned revision of social insurance law, the target is to reduce by 20 per cent the number of new recipients of invalidity benefit and to discontinue payment to some.
The aim is to raise SFr300 million in additional funds by increasing the salary levy for the scheme from 1.4 to 1.5 per cent.

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