ZAGREB, September 21, 2020 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday that the payment of pension allowances was not in question, underscoring that increasing them by 10% by the end of the government’s term in office is a priority.
“This is a clear message from the government about the protection of pensioners,” Prime Minister said during the signing of an agreement on the establishment of a national council for pensioners and elderly persons with Visnja Fortuna, president of the National Pensioners’ Convention of Croatia (MUH), and Jasna A. Petrovic, the Croatian Pensioners’ Union (SUH).
The council is an advisory body that discusses the issues of pension and health insurance, social policy and the protection of the elderly and will submit its opinions to the government.
PM Plenkovic underscored successful cooperation with the MUH and the SUH, saying that the government endeavours to adopt everything that is useful in line with economic and financial ability.
As an example, he underscored the option to work and receive a pension allowance, which was now available to a greater number of pensioners.
“The results are visible — according to latest data… there are currently 15,500 pensioners who are working in addition to receiving a pension allowance,” he said.
Plenkovic also said that regular payment and indexation of pension allowances was ensured in the complex conditions of the coronavirus epidemic, with pension allowances being indexed by 0.7% since January 1, and by 1.41% since July 1.
He pointed out that the average duration of pensionable service of new pensioners had increased this year, which indicates there was greater awareness about the need to stay in the work force for longer. He added that the average old-age pension for 40 years of pensionable service amounted to HRK 4,669 (€619).
Pensions to increase by 10% by end of term in office
The Prime Minister said the government’s first priority was to “increase pension allowances by 10% by the end of its term.”
He recalled that in its previous term, the government increased pension allowances by about 12% and that lowest pension allowances were increased by an additional 3%.
MUH head Fortuna expressed satisfaction with the work of the council in the previous term and thanked the Prime Minister that the new agreement that would enable it to continue its work had been signed so quickly.
SUH head Petrovic warned that in addition to difficulties such as coronavirus, the government’s term would be marked by poverty of the elderly as 61% of pension allowances were below the Croatian poverty threshold.
Petrovic also expressed hope that dialogue in the council would resolve the issue of family pensions which are mostly low and it was mostly women who were the beneficiaries of these allowances (94%).
Labour and Pension System Minister Josip Aladrovic said after the signing of the agreement that the work of the council has contributed to the quality of life of pensioners and elderly persons.