Safe pensions thanks to oil wealth


The Norwegians are not only happy, they also have a
vision. Thanks to oil and natural gas reserves, which
have, since the beginning of the 1970s — and largely
under state control — been developed on the continental
shelf along the coast, the treasury now reports vast
surpluses. This money is saved by Norway, as a provision
for the time when the country’s resource reserves
are exhausted.


Since 1996 state profits and tax revenue from the production
of fossil resources have gone into the so-called
oil fund, since 2006 known as the “National Pension
Fund — Global”. The fund’s assets have increased on
average by six per cent per year, and they now (late
2007) amount to more than two trillion Norwegian
crowns, or the equivalent of 250 billion euros or 400
billion US dollars. This means that each of the country’s
4.7 million inhabitants currently has savings amounting
to 53,000 euros. Pensions are therefore safe for the
time being.




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