A petition launched by the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Most-Híd party, the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, four of the five parliamentary opposition parties, to maintain the current contribution level to the second, privately-managed pillar of Slovakia’s pension scheme has been signed by 22,000 Slovaks, the TASR reported.
The four parties object to the government's idea of cutting the amount that employees can contribute to the second from 9 percent of salary to 4 percent with the difference going to the state-run pension plan.
"(Prime Minister) Robert Fico can't save and he doesn't like it when other people are saving," said MP Július Brocka from KDH, adding that if the plan is carried out pension savers with an average monthly salary of €800 would lose up to €480 each year going into the second pillar.
Most-Hid MP Ivan Švejna said that the 0.7 percent of GDP that the government claims to gain by the action is actually a step to gain revenue that it wants to set aside for its own priorities.
"People can have their priorities, too, and I'm certain that having a decent pension is one of them," stated Švejna, as quoted by TASR. To gain more signatures on the petition the four opposition parties – except for the largest opposition party, Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) – plan to address people at summer festivals and at beaches as well as to organise roundtable talks involving experts.
The contribution to the second pension pillar will be cut to 4 percent of the gross wage, said Prime Minister Robert Fico after a meeting of the Solidarity and Development Council held on June 21 and he plans to implement the measure on October 1. Savers will be able to pay an additional two percent from own net income and this sum will be deductible from their tax calculation basis for income taxes.
"We are doing this mainly to consolidate the pension system which the Solidarity and Development Council said is financially unsustainable," the prime minister said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. The Council also prepared changes to the state-administered first pension pillar.
"By 2017, the retirement age will be automatically extended in accordance with increasing life span. If people live longer, then the retirement age will be gradually increased," Fico stated.
Source: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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