Early retirees in Serbia are left with smaller retirement checks since a new law was introduced in 2014, though this could soon be remedied as the Labour Ministry announced it is reviewing the country’s law on pensions and disability insurance.
Serbia’s law on pensions and disability insurance is being changed, but the Labour Ministry claims that precise solutions have not yet been defined.
Early retirement penalty points were introduced in 2014, and many future pensioners had to face the changes two to five years before retirement. Their checks were, therefore, smaller in amount, and this measure saving the state 1.7 billion dinars every month.
“It is not fair to those who paid their dues for over 40 years and retired before 65 to have reduced pension checks for the rest of their lives. The problem needs to be solved, and our suggestion is to count the penal points up to the age of 65 and annul them afterwards”, Zoran Mihajlović from the Association of independent trade unions said.
Those 60 years old who have worked for 40 years lose the most – around 20% for each missing year. Someone with an average check of 31,000 dinars (264€) who is missing five years to pension age would receive 6,200 dinars (50€) less.
On a yearly level, this counts for 74.400 dinars or two and a half pension checks less.
The initiative to amend the law was presented by the Association, and the Social-economic council accepted it twice and passed it to the government to consider and adopt, but it was denied both times.
Finance Minister Siniša Mali promised the unions that the penal points would be cancelled when the fund for pensions and disability insurance can single-handedly pay out pensions, Mihajlović told Kurir.
“It is an injustice to pensioners who have paid their dues in their time, and that money belongs to them. In the surrounding countries, there is no penal points institution. There is in the West, but private pension funds work there, so people have ways of patching up their home budget in old age”, Mihajlović explained.
The retirement age in Serbia was changed from 1 January 2023.
While women can retire at 63 and a half years if they have worked for at least 15 years, the same applies to men who reach the age of 65 with the same number of years worked.
To ensure equality between the sexes, the law envisages that the retirement age for women is gradually raised to that of men until 2032.
(EURACTIV.rs | Bojana Zimonjić Jelisavac)
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