Bulgarian Parliament Dismisses BSP's Proposal for Early Retirement
The Bulgarian Parliament dismissed the proposal of opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) for early retirement on Wednesday.
Initially, the amendment to the Social Insurance Code was adopted with 94 votes in favour, 76 votes against, while 15 MPs abstained, daily Dnevnik reports.
However after the main ruling party GERB had requested repetition of the vote, the proposal was dismissed with 93 votes in favour, 82 votes against, while 12 MPs abstained.
Apart from BSP, the proposal was supported by MPs from the remaining opposition parties – Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), Bulgarian Democratic Centre and nationalist Ataka.
There was split within the four parties supporting the coalition government, with the Patriotic Front (PF) voting with the opposition parties, while ABV abstained.
According to the proposed changes, retirement would become possible 24 months earlier than the fulfillment of the eligibility criteria.
The change foresaw pension remuneration to be reduced with 0.4 % for each month that falls short of the required age and work experience, which would cost around BGN 80 M to the pension system annually.
According to the latest National Social Security Institute (NOI) data, 34 000 people are not eligible for retirement at present.
These people are lacking the necessary work experience and have to wait until they reach 65 years of age in order to start receiving pension.
The proposal was also justified with Eurostat data, which showed that more than half a million Bulgarians, aged between 55 and 64 years, were economically inactive during 2013.
Under the proposal, men aged between 61 years, 8 months and 63 years, 8 months and women aged between 58 years, 8 months and 60 years, 8 months, could have been eligible for early retirement in 2014.
According to NOI, BSP's proposal represents a retreat from the commitments to limit early retirement.
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