Bulgarian Social Minister: Retirement Reform Boasts Labor

Bulgarian Social Minister: Retirement Reform Boasts Labor

The cabinet is proposing a package of measures which have the purpose of making the Bulgarian retirement system more stable, Social Policy and Labor Minister, Totyu Mladenov, says.

Mladenov spoke Saturday in an interview for Darik radio, pointing out the retirement system reform aims at expanding the number of people with retirement pensions, at increased control on employers and self-employed to ensure they make retirement contributions, and increased control on the disability pensions.

The Minister explained the proposal to increase the requirement for years of service from 34 to 37 years for women and from 37 to 40 years for men will limit the opportunities and the desire of people to work in the "grey" economy.

"The factors influencing the retirement reform are income level, employment level, health care, unemployment, and work conditions. When taking into consideration these factors in our country, it becomes obvious upping the years of service is more acceptable then increasing the retirement age. Research shows that nearly 40% of all Bulgarians say they are willing to work after reaching retirement age," Mladenov said, pointing out people must be encouraged to work, not restricted.

"Retirement is an individual right, not a mandate. We must keep people on the labor market as long as possible," the Minister stressed.

Some of the measures from the package will become effective on January 1, 2011 while the new retirement requirement will be entered into force on July 1, 2011.

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