Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Retirees Opposed to Croatian Government's Pension Reform

ZAGREB, November 13, 2018 - The leader of the HSU pensioners' party, Silvano Hrelja, said on Tuesday that the government's pension reform would produce negative effects because of the harsh penalisation of early retirement without taking account of working life.

Addressing a press conference, Hrelja commended the "27% supplement for each year since 2001 and the 20.25% supplement on the Second Pillar pension," and the right of Second Pillar beneficiaries to choose the more favourable pension allowance, which he said has in fact become a voluntary pillar.

He noted that it wasn't true that Croatian workers have a short working life and said that on average workers have a working life of 34 years and not 30 years because it is necessary to exclude "disability and family pensions that are never counted in the same statistics anywhere in the world."

He added that they support the idea of a bonus for those remaining on the labour force even after the age of 65, even though it will benefit only doctors, judges and academicians.

HSU has made some calculations regarding the pension system and the consequences of the future reform for a person with an average wage, which currently amounts to 6,200 kuna, and with 40 years of service who goes into early retirement, prior to the age of 62 for women and 65 for men, and for a person who earned the minimum wage and who, with 40 years of service, became eligible for an age pension or early retirement.

The current penalty for early retirement is 6%, and the government proposes that it be 20.4%, whereas the bonus would be 3.13%. "We are opposed to a rigid penalisation of 0.34% for each month without taking working life into consideration," Hrelja said.

For a person with the average pay who wishes to retire five years earlier, currently their pension would amount to 2,466.56 kuna, whereas according to the government's proposal, their pension allowance would amount to 2,088.70 kuna.

Someone on a minimum wage and 40 with years of working life would receive an age pension of 2,544.40 kuna, while after the reform they would receive 2,624 kuna, which is an increase of 79.60 kuna due to the 3.13% bonus, Hrelja explained. If that person were to retire earlier, their pension would currently amount to 2,391.70 kuna, whereas after the reform it would be 2,088.73 kuna, regardless of the 3.13% bonus.

"The increase of 3.13% is a big farce due to the rigid penalisation of early retirement," he stressed.

Instead of the increase of 3.13%, HSU proposes an income and assets test for pensioners and that pensioners receive a Christmas bonus because they will get more from the state than they do now and that won't upset the system of contributions.

HSU also recommends that each woman is accredited with an additional year of working life for each child for the purpose of pension insurance.

Hrelja also recommends introducing the Family Pension as exist elsewhere in Europe. As an example he cited a working couple who together have 70 years of working life, and if the husband dies earlier the wife would be eligible for her own pension and a portion of her late husband's pension.

For more on Croatia’s pension system and pension reform, click here.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Pension Reform Continues to Draw Criticism

ZAGREB, October 23, 2018 - Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić said on Tuesday that he was willing to continue negotiations with the unions regarding the pension reform, calling on unions to have additional rounds of talks.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Government Defends Pension Reform Plans

ZAGREB, October 21, 2018 - Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić 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.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Government Sends Pension Reform to Parliament

ZAGREB, October 17, 2018 - The government on Wednesday sent a package of bills to parliament for the comprehensive pension reform following four months of negotiations with social partners, with Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić saying that current pensioners can expect further increases in their pension allowances, while future pensioners can expect the second pension pillar to strengthen, the investments to increase in that pillar, and that pensioners will be able to select the most favourable option to use those funds upon retiring.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Government Ready to Compromise on Pension Reform

ZAGREB, September 24, 2018 - After meeting with trade union leaders on Monday, Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić said that during the four-hour-long talks on the government's proposed pension reform, the unions outlined a proposal that changes the concept on the pension reform, adding that the government is prepared to come up with a compromised proposal and that the talks will continue.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Pension Reform to Be Rushed Through Parliament?

ZAGREB, September 22, 2018 - The leader of the Croatian Party of Pensioners (HSU), Silvano Hrelja, said on Saturday that the ruling majority would shorten the public consultation on the pension reform to two weeks after which they will try and rush it in parliament through two readings.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Retirement Age to Be Increased

ZAGREB, September 20, 2018 - Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić said on Wednesday in parliament said that the government's aim was for people to retire with as long a working life as possible which would mean that their pension allowances would be higher and called on unions for another round of talks so that he can better explain his reasoning for this.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Unions Announce Protests against Pension Reform Plans

ZAGREB, September 17, 2018 - Unionists on Monday walked out of a meeting with Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić on a planned pension reform, saying he did not take their proposals into consideration but presented them with a finished proposal, and announcing that workers would take to the streets.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Pension Insurance Funds Continue to Grow

ZAGREB, September 10, 2018 - Four Croatian compulsory pension insurance funds had a total of 1.882 million members at the end of July 2018, or about 58,900 more than at the same time in 2017, while their combined assets reached 96 billion kuna, according to the Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA).

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Croatia Investing 2.5 Billion Kuna in Employment Programmes

ZAGREB, September 4, 2018 - Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić said on Tuesday that never before had so much money been allocated for employment as in the term of the present government, adding that 2.5 billion kuna was being invested in employment programmes this year.

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