Pensioners' status in Croatia shameful, says association

NEWS 08.10.2020 11:17
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Source: Pixabay

The Croatian Pensioners' Association (MUH) on Wednesday held its regular assembly at which MUH president Visnja Fortuna warned of the "shameful status of pensioners" who live in poverty, with an average pension allowance that accounts for 38% of the average pay.

“The average pension allowance is HRK 2,558 and is below the poverty line of HRK 2,710. We have to work a lot, with the government, the relevant ministries and the prime minister, to improve that because this is truly shameful,” Fortuna said at the assembly of the largest association of pensioners, which has 279,000 members.

The lowest pension allowance amounts to HRK 1,050, while pensions of former members of parliament and those granted under special regulations are several times higher, Fortuna said.

She noted that it is difficult to determine the amount of the pension allowance that would satisfy the needs of pensioners, who in addition to everyday costs have to pay for medicines and medical treatment.

The National Council for Pensioners is expected to convene again in a month’s time and call for a more favourable method of adjusting pension allowances to price and wage growth, and it has also initiated changes to the family pension, which is often received by women whose late husbands’ pension allowances were much higher.

According to the current model, the beneficiary of a family pension has to revoke their own pension allowance to receive 70% of their late spouse’s pension allowance. The new model, which is being proposed by pensioners’ associations, would increase that rate to 80% and it also proposes the possibility of retaining one’s own pension allowance and receiving a certain percentage of the late spouse’s pension allowance.

MUH has also launched an initiative to increase the income threshold for free supplementary health insurance to HRK 2,000 because when the last pension adjustment was conducted, as many as 10,000 pensioners were no longer eligible for free supplementary health insurance.