Government Ready to Compromise on Pension Reform

Total Croatia News

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.

“After four hours of negotiations, I can say that I am satisfied, that the talks were very constructive,” Pavić told reporters, noting that the unions had presented the proposal that changes the concept of how the pension system could be conducted. “We presented a certain compromise proposal but I don’t want to go into detail because it was agreed that we would meet again,” Pavić said.

Pension allowances are unquestionable. Pensions can only grow and the government insists that all citizens have the option to choose whether they want to transfer from the second pension pillar to the first and that is the essence of the pension reform, Pavić said.

Pensions have increased by a record 2.75 % in the last adjustment and 6.3% during this government’s term, Pavić recalled, adding that all pensioners would have the opportunity of working up to four hours a day alongside their pension. “For those people retiring in the next 10 to 15 years, with the 27% supplement, their pensions will be on par, which means that no one’s pension will be 600 kuna lower but will be equal to current pension allowances,” he said.

The current proposal of the pension reform will be put up for public debate and amendments can be made if agreed to prior to tabling the bill to parliament, which is expected in a month’s time, he said.

He added that the government was prepared to come up with a compromise proposal. “We presented a certain package which we consider to be a compromise. The union’s presented their package which changes the concept of retirement age at 67 and of early retirement,” Pavić added.

We will all think about it a little more and will certainly meet again. We have shown that we are willing to negotiate and have social dialogue and it is important that we conducted that procedure prior to putting the proposal up for public debate, the minister said.

After the meeting, union leaders said that they would continue with union action including preparations for a protest rally against the proposed reform while Minister Pavić claimed that there was no mention of a protest during the meeting. “We offered an opportunity for talks. We talked for four hours, exchanged arguments and will continue with the talks.”

He recalled that bilateral talks were already held with employers last week. “They had four demands, we adopted three and the fourth will be resolved with the 27% supplement. As such, we practically fulfilled everything that employers asked for,” Pavić concluded.


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