Bulgarian Syndicates Mull Revolt against Retirement Reform

Domestic | November 20, 2011, Sunday // 10:05|  views

Current retirement age in Bulgaria is 63 for males and 60 for females, but life expectancy is the lowest in Europe. File photo

The Podkrepa (Support) Labor Confederation and the Confederation of Independent Bulgarian Syndicates (KNSB) are going to announce Sunday if they are quitting the Three-Way Council.

The two largest Bulgarian labor unions are not only deciding of they will leave the Council, which is in partnership with the business and the cabinet, but will also declare all their further actions against the sudden decision of the cabinet to increase retirement age.

On Friday, they threatened the launch of 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. The decision was made during an emergency meeting of the Consultative Council of Podkrepa and KNSB.

The syndicates are further outraged by Djankov's plans to eliminate years of service in determining pay for State servants.

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.

On Friday, outgoing Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, stated that he was considering imposing a veto on the cabinet's proposed amendment to up retirement age by one year, effective January 1, 2012.

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


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