Bulgaria's Rulers Back Out of Universal Pension Raise

Finance | June 15, 2011, Wednesday // 20:09|  views

Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has made it clear the Cabinet will not raise all pensions as of July 1, 2011. Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian government of the center-right party GERB plans to raise the retirement pensions only of widows, according to the latest announcement of Finance Minister Simeon Djakov.

According to Djankov, the state budget cannot afford to raise all pensions, as Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Labor Minister Totyu Mladenov had indicated earlier.

Instead, the government is mulling upping only the so called widows' allowances. Currently, retired widows receive 20% of the pension of the late spouses. After changes to the Social Security Code, the widows' allowances will be increased to 26-27% of the diseased spouse's pension, Djankov said on Wednesday.

The increase will cost the state budget about BGN 130-140 M per year but it will have to be approved first by the government, the Council for Tripartite Cooperation (i.e. the government, business, and trade unions), and the Parliament.

Djankov was unable to forecast when the raise of the widows' pensions might become effective but said this is unlikely to happen as of July 1, 2011.

The Finance Minister has confirmed that the Borisov Cabinet is firmly going for an increase of the minimum monthly wage from BGN 240 to BGN 270.

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Tags: Simeon Djankov, finance minister, minimum wage, minimum wages, minimum monthly wage, minimum salary, pensions, pensioners, retirement pensions, widows' allowances


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