Saturday, June 29, 2013

Creatively using statistics for your advantage

As I have posted yesterday, the Polish government is trying to shake up the social security system to save the budget. Largely in a Hungarian way.

I would like to stress that I am not completely happy about the way the Polish private pension system operates. Much can and should be changed.

Nevertheless, the currently proposed "reform" is mostly a cash grab.

The government claims, that the private pension funds are expensive for they collected close to 17 billion PLN (*) in fees.

First, these fees were sanctioned by the Polish government.

Second, it is worth comparing these 17 billion PLN (*) to 43,7 billion PLN cost of the public social security system - ZUS - over the same period.

If you compare the costs of the public social security system to the assets of the private funds, you may be surprised that the former constitutes as much as 17% of the later. 

Hence, one can "infer" that it is possible to save some 45 billion PLN over 10 years by liquidating ZUS ;)

I agree, that these comparisons and conclusions are a little bit "too creative", but similarly inventive are some of the juxtapositions and proposals presented by the Polish government.

Not that the government is the first or the only entity using statistics creatively...

(*)  maybe my spreadsheet software has some bugs, but when it sums up the OFE fees presented by the government, I get a little more than 16 billion PLN not 17 billion PLN; but what is a billion among the friends...

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