TO INCREASE standards of living of retirees with the lowest pensions, the Robert Fico government proposes the introduction of minimum pension. It will be allocated for everyone who has paid old-age pension insurance for at least 30 years and achieved the retirement age. The measure, which is one out of a 15-measure social package, still needs to be passed by parliament. The minimum guaranteed pension is proposed to be almost €270 for 2015.
“Our main goal is that a person who worked 30 years at least, reached the retirement age and also met other preconditions, was not placed on material need aid,” Jozef Burian, the state secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Family, said in December when introducing the ministry’s proposal, as cited by the Pravda daily. “With the minimum pension law we want to increase standards of living of pensioners with low pensions.”
Based on the current rules, when the social security provider Sociálna Poisťovňa calculates based on earnings thus far for a to-be pensioner, a pension lower than €200, he or she can apply at the local office of labour, social affairs and family for the material need aid. But when assessing whether such an applicant qualifies for this benefit, incomes of the whole family in which he or she lives, as well as his or her assets are taken into consideration and thus it often happens that such a person fails to receive aid. When assessed according to the new law, the applicant will be taken as an individual person and will receive money only from one institution – Sociálna Poisťovňa.
The minimum pension is proposed to be 136 percent of the bread line, which is now nearly €200. Thus the minimum amount should be €269.5, while it should be increased by 2 percentage points with each worked year and by 3 percentage points with 40 years of labor. On average people in Slovakia work 37 years, the Hospodárske Noviny wrote.
The minimum pension will valorise each year as of January 1 along with the bread line. The minimum pension will be paid out to recipients of regular old-age pensions, early old-age pensions as well as invalidity pensions.
The introduction of the minimum amount should affect over 75,000 pensioners in 2015 when the start of payments of minimum pensions is proposed for July 2015. The ministry has calculated that this measure will require €16.4 million from the state budget in 2015 and €31 million in 2016.
The average old-age monthly pension in Slovakia was €400.1 as of November when a total of almost 1.02 million people received this kind of pension. Receivers of early old age and invalidity pensions exceeded 250,000.
12. Jan 2015 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff