Bulgarian Parliament Approves Retirement Age Increase

Bulgarian Parliament Approves Retirement Age Increase

Bulgarian lawmakers adopted on Thursday legislative changes that would raise the retirement age in four-month increments each year starting in 2012 until it reaches 65 for men and 63 for women, the parliament said.

The decision was adopted with 82 votes in favour with 51 MPs voting against, the parliament said in a statement on its website.

Bulgarian men currently retire at 63 while the retirement age for women is 60.

Military personnel, investigators, civilians on the payroll of the Interior Ministry, the National Security State Agency and officials in the penitentiary system will be eligible to retire regardless of their age if they have contributory service of at least 27 years, up from 25 under the effective legislation.

Maternity and unemployment benefits will be calculated based on the respective person's contributory income going two years back instead of the current 18 months.

Online news portal Dnevnik (www.dnevnik.bg) reported that the opposition parties immediately threatened to take the matter to the Constitutional Court due to the fact that the latest amendments were not subjected to the customary first and then second reading in parliament but were instead passed as part of the transitional and final provisions of the 2012 social security budget bill before the bill itself was enacted.

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