"The present somewhat acrimonious discussions on how to tackle the cost of care for the elderly have brought out into the open what I have always described as the "National Insurance Scam". An elderly gentleman on television the other day was complaining that he had paid a lifetime of NI contributions and as he saw it, it was now for the scheme to provide for him in his old age, and the idea that he might have to pay for any care he might need was disgraceful. But of course the idea that the NI scheme was ever "insurance" in the normal use of the word was always a con. The concept of insurance is that you pay premiums into a pot, which you can then call on to pay for any loss or expense you incur under the terms of the policy. But with the NI scheme, there was never any pot - the idea always was that today's claims would be paid out of today's contributions. So when you get a situation where claimants (in this case the elderly) are needing more than current contributions can cope with, you have a problem. The elderly gentleman's lifetime of contributions went to pay for the claimants of the day - he has no pot to draw on. He was sold a pup, as we all were."
Found on : http://rndman.blogspot.com/.
This was written in the UK, but it applies to Belgium as well. As a matter of fact, it applies to our pensions.