Bulgarian Cabinet Passes Latest Retirement Reform Plan
The Bulgarian cabinet approved the amendments in the Social Security Code, announced Sunday by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and approved the next day by the business and the trade unions.
This is the second time when the government of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) attempts to carry out the retirement reform. The initial version reached the Parliament and was approved by the Parliamentary Social Commission on first reading before Borisov's decision to withdraw it following trade unions' threats of country-wide protests.
According to the latest plan, approved Wednesday, the required years of service for retirement in Bulgaria will start going up by four months per year, beginning January 1, 2012. The gradual increase of the years of service would continue to 2020 to reach 40 years for men and 37 for women.
After the increase of the years of service, the retirement age will begin going up in 2021 by six months per year to reach in 2024 65 for men and 63 for women.
In addition, pensions of people eligible for early retirement (police, military, pilots, miners etc) would be paid by NOI until December 31, 2014, instead of the previously announced 2013. The move was triggered by the fact that private retirement funds admitted they do not have enough money to begin paying pensions to the above said workers in 2011. These private funds are to start paying pensions in 2015.
At this time, the required years of service for early retirement will begin to gradually go up by six months per year to lead to retirement eight or three years earlier than regular employees, depending on the category of work of those eligible to take advantage of early retirement.
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