ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 – The MUH pensioners association ad the Croatian Pensioners Union (SUH) on Monday called on the government to urgently restore the work of the National Council for Pensioners and the Elderly so that dialogue on problems faced by needy pensioners could continue.
“Dealing with the problem of a growing number of poor pensioners cannot be postponed because MUH and SUH consider it a priority issue. We propose that a more favorable formula be defined to adjust pensions in order to prevent a drastic drop of the average pension in relation to the average wage in Croatia, as the average pension now accounts for only 37.9% of the average wage,” the two organizations said in an open letter to the government.
They warn that the at-risk-of-poverty threshold in Croatia is HRK 2,710. Since the average pension amounts to only HRK 2,525, that shows that most pensioners already live below the poverty line, the two organizations said.
More than 703,000 or 61% of all pensioners, not including those who have acquired their pensions in line with special rules and privileges, have pension allowances that are below the poverty line. “Every retired single, and those are mostly women, with a pension of below HRK 2,710, is officially a poor person,” the two organizations say.
They recall that under a plan adopted by the parliament, pensions in the next four-year term would be increased by 10%, which would make the average pension rise to only HRK 2,777 in four years’ time, and this would make the difference between the average pension and the average wage amount to HRK 4,823.
“The latest figures on pension indexation of a mere 1.41% make it clear that it will be difficult to achieve the promised adjustment. That means that pensions will continue to go down in relation to both the average and the minimum wage. By the end of the current government’s term, the average pension would account for a miserly 36.5% of the average net pay,” the two organizations warn, recalling that Croatia is at the very bottom of the EU rankings in terms of pensions.
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