Parliament finally approved an amended version of the long-discussed government amendment to the Social Insurance Act, it was reported on October 30. By doing so, it approved several changes to the pension system that will come into effect as of the beginning of next year.
After a heated discussion between the Coalition and Opposition, 76 MPs voted for the amendment (the minimum required for the proposal to pass), while 55 voted against it. The original proposal by the Labour Ministry has been passed with several changes. Apart from amendments from the junior coalition partner LS-HZDS, the coalition partners in voting also supported several proposals tabled by SDKU-DS MP and former Labour Minister Iveta Radičová.
The HZDS managed to enforce numerous changes to the original draft; e.g. those who retire early will still be able to work and receive their state pensions.
If the amendment is signed by President Ivan Gašparovič, students and young people who enter the labour market for the first time will be given a six-month period in which to decide whether to sign up for the private second pillar of the pension system. Until now, they have been obliged to join the second pillar. In addition, the amendment brings an increase in the maximum base rate for calculating pension contributions from the current triple to four-times the average salary. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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31. Oct 2007 at 7:00