31,000 Croatian Retirees Return to World of Work

Lauren Simmonds

croatian pensioners

June the 26th, 2024 – A significant number, 31,000 in total, of Croatian retirees have decided to return to the labour market. Many people are claiming that these individuals are “saving the tourist season” as Croatia’s labour market issues continue to present themselves.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, as the Croatian tourist season heats up, employment and the demand for workers usually increase. The number of insured persons at the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO) is currently at a record 1.72 million, and more than 21,000 job vacancies are currently being advertised in the records of the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ).

Many employers are increasingly turning to Croatian retirees, among whom there have never been more people choosing to continue to work up to half the working time in addition to receiving their pension. At the moment, 1,150 employer advertisements are addressed to precisely them on the Job Exchange portal (i).

At the same time, job ads for salespeople (more than 200), cleaners (almost 130) and security guards (around 70) lead the way in terms of number, and dozens of ads also refer to medical technicians and/or caregivers, truck drivers, cooks, and auxiliary workers.

early retirement is on the up

According to the latest data, there are currently more than 31,000 insured persons who are also pension beneficiaries. After their number approached the limit of 30,000 in April, this has set a new record number of Croatian pensioners who are continuing to work part-time.

The fact that there are more than 3,000 or about 15 percent more than a year ago, and 40 percent more than two years ago, also speaks of the growing trend of choosing such an option. Returning to the world of work for many Croatian pensioners is prompted by the need for additional income due to a low monthly pension, but for some retirees, it isn’t an option taken out of necessity, but a choice that reflects different motives.

Along with certain professional occupations where there is traditionally a labour shortage, today, more Croatian pensioners decide on the possibility of utilising a combined status and using the form of flat-rate trade.

less pressure on foreign labour imports

In any case, many employers also prefer to meet their workforce needs by hiring Croatian pensioners. This is either because of their professional qualifications or because of the cultural and language barriers faced by foreign workers from distant third (non-EEA) countries.

Out of the total number of Croatian pensioners who, in addition to drawing their pension, work up to half-time, one-sixth (over 5,000), are engaged in trade. The second most numerous are those in professional, scientific and technical activities, followed by jobs in the processing industry.

All in all, the five most represented activities account for close to a third of the total number of retired workers. In the conditions of the labour shortage, which is largely a consequence of the emigration of young qualified personnel, internal reserves are generally recognised in the group of younger and healthy retirees. This could ease the pressure on the import of workers from abroad. In fact, the emphasis has been on staying longer in the world of work, including encouraging the employment of Croatian pensioners, for a while now.


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