MPs pass changes to pension legislation to remedy injustices

Ljubljana – The National Assembly has passed changes to pension legislation to remedy injustices done to persons who voluntarily continued to pay mandatory pension and disability insurance contributions despite being for instance unemployed after 1 January 2013, not being aware that this would not count towards their pensionable years.

The changes to the pension and disability insurance act, put forward by the opposition Left, were passed unanimously on Wednesday. They concern some 9,800 people, of whom 2,800 have already retired.

These people continued to pay the contributions even after the last pension reform kicked in as of 2013 changing the rules so that the payments no longer counted into their pensionable years.

Their contributions will now be added to their pensionable years, and the ZPIZ pension fund will send them new decisions on a higher pension in six months.

This means that from now on, they will receive “old-age pension, as their retirement will no longer be considered “early”.

The Left’s Miha Kordiš said the bill undoes the injustice for the people who paid pension insurance contributions while being unemployed, or precarious workers, waiting for their retirement “in an unenviable social and psychological situation”.

The Left has been making efforts to address the issue since 2017, while “now finally the political will was mustered to protect them from the mistakes made by the state”.

MPs of the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMP) noted the affected persons had expected to be entitled to old-age pension once they had 40 pensionable years and turned 60.

But the pension reform changed that, setting down that this is no longer the case when a person continues to pay into the pension fund while for instance not working.

The majority of the affected pensioners realised that only when they inquired with the ZPIZ about the conditions under which they can retire, said the opposition SD MPs.

Several deputy groups said the bill was not comprehensive, but they supported it as a way of fighting against old-age poverty. Coalition New Slovenia (NSi) MPs said pensions must guarantee decent living.