“We are sending a clear message that in the circumstances of overlapping energy and food crises and inflation pressure, the government’s key priority is to provide social security to all citizens, notably senior citizens,” Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said while presenting the new, combined model on Thursday.
Draft amendments to pension insurance legislation put an emphasis on family pension beneficiaries who will be entitled to a more equitable pension calculation and be able to use a part of the family pension while receiving their own pension in the event of their spouse’s death, said the premier.
The changes will cover nearly 300,000 pension recipients, and in 2023, more than 1.1 billion kuna will be earmarked for that purpose.
An increase in the pension factor for over 136,000 pension recipients will mean a 10% increase in the family pension, or an average HRK 250 per user, and HRK 365 million will be set aside for that in 2023, Plenković said.
Making it possible for pensioners to receive a part of the family pension alongside their personal pension will lead to an average increase of HRK 500 per month for over 155,000 family pension beneficiaries, and this measure will cost HRK 750 million in 2023.
Croatia has thus joined those EU countries where it is possible for pension beneficiaries to receive both family and personal pensions, said the premier.
As of 1 January 2023, the lowest pension allowances will increase by 1.5%, and as of 1 January 2025, they will rise by an additional 1.5%.
Thus in 2023, this increase will cover 287,000 beneficiaries of the lowest pensions, and HRK 100 million has been secured for that purpose, the PM said.
Plenković recalled that since the start of the first term of his government in October 2016, the average pension allowance has risen by 20.15%, and currently the average pension amounts to HRK 3,047.
The lowest pension has increased by 26.41% to HRK 2,008, said Plenković.
The increase is not only due to pension indexation but also due to a set of measures undertaken as part of the pension reform, he said.
Labour Minister Marin Piletić said that for a person to be entitled to the family pension, they must be above 65 and meet other necessary criteria.
It is proposed that the personal and the family pension combined cannot exceed HRK 5,850.
Upon indexation after the adoption of the necessary legislation, this threshold may rise slightly, to exceed HRK 6,000, Piletić said.
The minister said that beneficiaries who may be users of the combined family and personal pension will have to request the relevant authorities to make calculations and inform them which of the pension models is the best for them.
The parliamentary deputy of the Croatian Pensioners’ Party (HSU), Silvano Hrelja, said that this combined model was the result of a lot of analysis and calculation, to take into account the state of family pensions.
I am not euphoric but I am satisfied, he said.
(€1 = HRK 7.520038)
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