Bulgarian Businessmen: Govt Steals Pension Money

Business » FINANCE | October 25, 2010, Monday // 20:18
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Businessmen: Govt Steals Pension Money Vasil Velev from the Association of Industrial Capital (left) and Bozhidar Danev from the Bulgarian Industrial Association slammed the government's plans to take over early retirement accounts from private funds. Photo by BGNES

The reform measures for transfer of early retirement money from private pension funds to the government social security institute are unconstitutional, according to the Bulgarian business sector.

All six major business associations in Bulgaria came together Monday to denounce the plans of the Cabinet to take the control of early retirement accounts from the hands of private funds.

"The transfer of money from the personal accounts in the professional retirement funds to the National Social Security Institute will be a bad sign for foreign investors, and will not solve the Institute's problems," said the businessmen.

The chair of the Bulgarian Industrial Association Bozhidar Danev declared the planned measures contradict the Constitution since it was a violation against private property.

In his words, the transfer of the early retirement accounts from nine private funds to a specially created new fund of the National Social Security Institute could prompt some 230 000 workers which accounts in the private funds to take the case to court.

Vasil Velev, head of the Association of Industrial Capital, said the low collectibility of social security payments that plagued the retirement system in Bulgaria was not the fault of the private funds of the National Revenue Agency.

"This is not even a nationalization, this is a theft, because there is no compensation for those who are affected by the measure," said Teodor Dechev, head of the Union for Economic Initiative.

"We already saw a collapse of the Bulgarian stock market last week after the idea to shut down the professional private funds was announced. We thought Bulgaria would end up turning into a country that is a mix between Switzerland and Singapore, but instead we are becoming something that is between Venezuela and North Korea," Velev declared.

According to the employers, the new solidarity early retirement funds will see its money grow till 2014, but will end up with a deficit of BGN 180 M in 2019, and BGN 1 B in 2022.

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Tags: Vasil Velev, Association of Industrial Capital, BIA, Bulgarian Industrial Association, Bozhidar Danev, Teodor Dechev, retirement reform, retirement system, retirement funds, National Social Security Institute
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