September 26, 2018 / 12:34 PM / in a month

Croatian unions to stage protest rally against pension reform

ZAGREB, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Croatia’s major trade unions will organise a protest next month against government proposals for pension reform which envisage raising the retirement age to 67 for men and women and reducing pensions for those who retire earlier.

“The protest will take place on Oct. 20 in central Zagreb,” one of the union leaders, Kresimir Sever, said on Wednesday.

Apart from raising the retirement age from the current 65 for men and 62 for women, the labour and pensions ministry’s plan proposes reducing pensions by 4 percent for each year of retirement taken early.

Three top trade unions say the proposed measures will hit older employees who are often under pressure to retire earlier for health reasons or because employers want to get rid of older staff.

“Life expectancy in Croatia is shorter than the European Union average. It’s the same with the number of years of healthy life after retirement. Croatia should say clearly it is not ready to introduce a longer working life,” Sever said.

The current government proposal is open to a public debate by mid-October. After that the proposal will go to parliament for adoption before the end of the year.

$1 = 6.3210 kuna Reporting by Igor Ilic Editing by Richard Balmforth

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