Government proposals to reform the pension system have yet to convince the three main trade union confederations – the ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB. While they welcome achieving the aim of a minimum pension of €1500 (monthly amount will reach €1630 by 1 January 2024), they are concerned about the tougher rules applying to the 20 years of work required to achieve the minimum and the fact that periods of unemployment will not be taken into account. With the plan to increase the retirement age to 67 by 2030, the unions are also disappointed that there are no proposals on early retirement or rules to cover periods of arduous employment. There are also calls to ensure that all work, including student employment, provides the opportunity to accumulate pension entitlement from day one.
Confederations react to latest pension proposals
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Members of the FNV trade union voted 73% in favour of a new pensions agreement that slows down the increase in retirement age and allows for faster indexation of pensions. The retirement age will be set at 66 and four months and will rise more slowly. The agreement also takes account of the need for early retirement for arduous work and provides opportunities for the self-employed to access the scheme.
Unions from all sectors joined a national demonstration in Zagreb on 20 October in protest against changes to the pensions system, including an increase in pension age to 67. Unions are calling for a pension age of 65 and to retain rules on early retirement including the possibility of retiring at 60 with 41 years of contributions. EPSU sent a message of solidarity.
The three main trade union confederations organised a national demonstration in Brussels on 16 May in protest at government plans to reform the pensions system. The estimated 70000-strong march was nearly three times the size of a similar demonstration in December, showing the strength of opposition to government policy which includes raising the pension age from 65 to 67. Some of the key demands include a minimum pension that delivers an adequate standard of living, gradual alignment of private and public sector pensions and proper account taken of arduous jobs and sickness and injury in