Labour Minister: Reform won't cut pensions but raise them,

NEWS 20.10.2018 17:47
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Source: Ilustracija

Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavic commented on Saturday's union protest against a draft pension reform, saying citizens should not worry because their pensions would not be cut and that the reform was launched to raise pensions and make the system sustainable.

Speaking to reporters, he said protests were a democratic right and that the government respected them, but that he wanted to assure current and future pensioners that the government was embarking on an integral reform to raise pensions.

He told current pensioners that the payment of their pensions was not in question and that they “will only rise over the next year.” Pensions rose 6.39 percent over the past two years “and next year we expect a similar increase,” he added.

Pavic said another objective of the pension reform was to prevent discrimination against any category of citizens. “If we didn’t embark on this reform, citizens who retire as of next year would have 600 to 700 kuna lower pensions than current pensioners.”

He said the indexation for 248,000 pensioners with the lowest pensions was expected to raise their pensions by 2.5-3 percent and that as of July 1, 2019, they could expect an additional increase of 3 percent.

Pavic said most citizens would not work until 67, only those without 41 years of service, and that long-term insurees with 41 years of service were already entitled to retire at 60, for example, nurses, waiters and construction workers.

Students who study until the age of 24 and have 41 years of service will be able to retire at 60, he said. “Therefore most citizens will retire between the ages of 60 and 65.”

Pavic noted the number of Social Democratic Party MPs attending today’s rally and the fact that unions did not demonstrate in 2014 when the SDP-led government passed a law stipulating retirement at 67.