Bulgarian Parliament adopted on first reading the much debated amendments to the Social Insurance Code, which will enter into force on January 1, 2011.
The amendments were adopted on Thursday with support from 90 votes (from Bulgaria's ruling party GERB and the nationalist party Ataka), 37 votes against (from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the ethnic Turkish party DPS and the rightist Blue Coalition) and 3 abstained.
Starting next year, the new retirement requirements for men will include simultaneously minimum 37 years of service and age above 63. Women should be 60 years of age and should have 34 years of service.
From 2012, the years of service for retirement will start increasing by 4 months a year.
The most discussed amendments were the ones regarding the changes in the age and years of service for people from first and second category labor and the drop of the old-age allowances.
Bulgaria's Labor Minister, Totyu Mladenov, has announced that the amendments were negotiated between the social partners and the cabinet and have met "broad public support."