According to the legislation, starting in January, pensions in Romania will increase uniformly – by the rate of the average inflation in 2023, by 13.8 percent – and then the recalculation of pensions will be carried out until September 2024. The law provides for the same contributory pension for the same work and – after a transition period – unifies the retirement age at 65 years, narrowing the possibility of early retirement and the range of eligible persons.
As a result of last week’s demonstrations, the representatives voted that miners can still retire at 45.
In the recovery plan, Romania undertook to carry out the pension reform. Referring to this, the social-liberal government coalition adopted the law with an emergency procedure, saying that otherwise the country would risk the suspension of 70 billion euros of EU support.
In Monday’s plenary debate, the opposition missed a thorough social debate and the naming of the budget cover for the announced two-stage pension increase of more than 40 percent in one year, and accused the government of trying to fool the elderly with yet another economically unviable “lie” about pension increases. to buy your vote for next year’s elections.
The new pension law also caused tension among the coalition parties, after the politicians of the center-right National Liberal Party (PNL) voiced their concern that Social Democratic Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu will try to cover his pension increase promises with another tax increase.
The Prime Minister stated in his press statement following the vote:
No new taxes will be levied, in fact, the government he leads will aim to reduce the excise burden on work, especially for those employed on the minimum wage.
He pointed out: 80 percent of the 4.8 million pensioners receive an old-age allowance of less than 3,000 lei (228,750 forints), and 60 percent of them receive less than 2,000 lei. Ciolacu called this unsustainable and expressed his conviction that they will find the cover for the pension increase when drafting the budget law. When asked whether the European Commission (EC) will ask Romania to postpone the pension increases due to the excessively high budget deficit, the Prime Minister said: the EC agrees with the law voted on Monday.
The new pension law was adopted with 199 votes
In Romania, a so-called pension point is used to calculate pensions, which corresponds to the salary of a fictitious employee who was paid at the level of the national average salary during his entire active career. The value of the pension point is currently 1,785 lei (136,000 HUF), and from January 1, 2024, it will be 2,032 lei per month. In the future, pensions will have to be automatically increased every year by the rate of average inflation, which will be supplemented by 50 percent of the real wage increase corresponding to the national average wage.
According to government sources, 9.6 billion lei are currently spent on the benefits of 4.8 million pensioners per month, after the recalculation of pensions (at the end of 2024), this cost is estimated to rise to 13.8 billion lei.
The new pension law was adopted by the Bucharest House of Representatives with 199 votes to 39, with 17 abstentions. Last week, the legislation was also voted by the senate, so it only needs the signature of the head of state to enter into force, reports MTI.