Croatian Pensioners Receive 180 Kuna Extra, But Must Pay it Back

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, back at the end of last year, during the process of the payment of pensions to Croatian pensioners, there was a “system error” within the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, which caused 1258 Croatian pensioners to accidentally receive slightly increased pensions. The amount of wrongly redirected money amounts to 226,080.92 kuna, which means that the average pensioner affected by this error received about 180 kuna or so more on their accounts than they’re entitled to.

Deputy director Ivo Bulaja spoke out about the situation for the portal, and he described it as a “minor system error” involving both human and technical factors. He explained that 10 percent of the money wrongly paid out to Croatian pensioners has already been returned, and that the remaining 90 percent is currently being worked on.

”We’ve sent an inquiry to the Pension Insurance Institute to look into how this mistake was made and in what way Croatian pensioners will have to return the money that doesn’t belong to them. Some people who received increased amounts saw for themselves that something was wrong, and they contacted the Bureau about the instructions for the return of the funds. However, it seems that the Institute is heavily insured in such cases because such system errors are even covered in the Pension Insurance Act.

“A person who receives their pension or some other income from the Pension Insurance Institute that doesn’t belong to them is obliged to return it to the Institute as they’ve acquired it without the proper grounds. The obligation to return the funds they’ve received without grounds to do so exists when the pension or other form of income is paid in a larger amount than the due amount,” reads Article 166 of the Pension Insurance Act.

In addition, the decision on the recognition of the right to a pension states that the beneficiary is obliged to report to the Institute “any change caused by personal or actual circumstances that affect the right or scope of exercise of this right” within a period of just fifteen days.

The Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO) will determine the amount of improperly paid funds ex officio by a decision within their administrative procedure, and the beneficiaries will state in the notification the account number (payment instructions) to which the amount can be returned.

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