Bulgaria Ups Retirement Age in 2012 in U-Turn Change

Bulgaria Ups Retirement Age in 2012 in U-Turn Change

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 new retirement age in 2012 will be realized through changes in the draft budget of State Public Insurance to be passed at second reading of the draft budget 2012. The first reading is held Wednesday.

All savings from the new plan will be used to increase minimum monthly pensions from BGN 136 to BGN 145.

The increase of retirement age will involve no more than 15 000 people, the Deputy Finance Minister says - this is the number of people, who will not be able to retire in 2012 over the move. He, however, stressed that the influx in the retirement system of older people, who have postponed their retirement over lack of required years of service and own wish, will shrink the effect of the increase of retirement age and would not reduce the NOI deficit.

Retirement age in Bulgaria is among the lowest in Europe, but so is the country's life expectancy.

Bulgarian syndicates already threatened a mass strike over the sudden increase of retirement age. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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