Bulgarian President Threatens Retirement Reform Veto

Domestic | November 19, 2011, Saturday // 10:05|  views

Outgoing Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, says the government is acting in an unpredictable and inconsistent way in forming social policy rules. Photo by BGNES

Outgoing Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, is considering imposing a veto on the cabinet's proposed amendment to up retirement age by one year, effective January 1, 2012.

Parvanov, however, says he would first meet with members of the cabinet to hear their opinion, still stressing the government is acting in an unpredictable and inconsistent way in forming social policy rules.

"This sudden change contradicts the parameters of the retirement reform agreed on one year ago. This will erode the trust in the State of all – trade unions, employers and citizens. The threat of the syndicates that they would leave the Three-Way council where they participate along with the business and the cabinet would be detrimental to the social dialogue. I have always been against opposing one social or age group to another," the President stresses.

Parvanov sides with a number of economic experts, who say the increase of retirement age would not lead to serious revenues for the budget.

Retirement age in Bulgaria will go up by one year for both men and women as early as 2012, Deputy Finance Minister, Vladislav Goranov told the Members of the Parliament Wednesday.

In addition, the retirement reform with gradual increase of retirement age is moved from 2021 to 2015, over the deficit in the budget of the National Social Security Institute (NOI) and economy forecasts, according to Goranov.

Under previous Bulgarian legislation, the retirement age was not to go up until 2021. After that, it was supposed to increase gradually – every 12 months until it reaches 65 for males in 2024 and 63 for females in 2026, compared to the current 63 and 60. The current required years of service are 37 for men and 34 for women.

The Podkrepa (Support) Labor Confederation and the Confederation of Independent Bulgarian Syndicates (KNSB) threatened Friday to launch a general strike over the initiative of Finance Minister Simeon Djankov to increase the retirement age unilaterally while disregarding the gradual increase agreement that the government made with the trade unions and the business associations back in 2010.

Some Members of the Parliament have told the TV channel bTV that there are wide-spread fears retirement age would go up in 2012 not by one, but by two years.

bTV further reports that a check with NOI had shown that Bulgarians are rushing to retire in the eve of the pending increase of retirement age and the number of those going into retirement in 2011 is expected to reach 100 000.

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Tags: NOI, Vladislav Goranov, Simeon Djankov, years of service, syndicates, Strike, Retirement age, draft budget, reform, president, Georgi Parvanov, social policy, 2012 state budget, state budget act, budget 2012, syndicates, trade unions, KNSB, Plamen Dimitrov, Podkrepa Labor Confederation, Retirement age, retirement system, retirement reform, pension reform, pension reforms, Simeon Djankov, finance minister, pensioners


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