The Slovenia Times

Trade Union Calls for Pension Increase



"Such a decision would be well-grounded legally and the funding is there also," said the ZSSS's Lučka Böhm at a press conference in Ljubljana on Monday.

The call from the ZSSS and the associated Trade Union of Pensioners' comes only days after the coalition sought to settle differences on the timing of the next pension increase at a time when pensions have been frozen under austerity legislation for several years.

The Finance Ministry has sought to put off any increases in pensions as the country works to meet its objective of keeping the budget deficit below 3% of GDP.

The coalition agreed on Friday to find ways to rise pensions this year, but to pay out the rise only in January 2016.

The general assembly of the pension purse manager, ZPIZ, will vote on the motion on Thursday and if passed, the government will have to decide on whether to approve the motion.

Böhm said there should be no obstacles, given that one of the key conditions - the return of economic growth - has been meet.

The final figures of GDP growth for 2014 will be released by the Statistics Office on Friday. If it proves the growth exceeded 2.5% in 2014, pensions should be increased as set down in the coalition contract.

While admitting she does not have exact calculations of how much a special increase would cost - the ZSSS estimates somewhere between EUR 35m and 40m - Böhm says that the money is available as the state-fund KAD fund must provide EUR 50m to ZPIZ for indexation of pensions under law.

But the ZSSS says the government has instead decided that KAD will provide EUR 19m for a holiday allowance for pensioner's, which Böhm argues is actually against the law.

The Finance Ministry meanwhile said that the special increase cost would be higher than estimated by the trade union and would reach some EUR 45m.

Moreover, the ministry told the STA that 60% of the increase is determined by the average gross pay increase in the previous year, while the rest of the increase is determined by the average increase of prices in the previous year.

The ministry also said that the special increase is usually paid out with February pensions.


More from Nekategorizirano