Bulgaria's Parliament overruled a presidential veto on the 2012 Public Social Insurance Budget which envisages an increase of retirement age by four months each year until reaching 63 for women and 65 for men.
The decision was backed by 122 MPs, as 62 MPs voted against and nine abstained, state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) reported.
"The increase of retirement age and contributory service length proved to be the only useful move," BTA quoted Labour Minister Totyu Mladenov as saying. He also stated that the gradual increase of retirement age and contributory service is the most painless way to reform the pension system.
Unless Bulgaria proceeds with the pension reform, the public insurance deficit will continue to increase, jeopardizing even the current pensions, Mladenov told Parliament. He also pointed to an EU resolution calling on the member states to raise retirement age.
The minister also noted that the revenues of the National Social Security Institute cover only two-thirds of pension expenses, as the remainder is secured by the state budget.