Proportionate pensioners still without a raise

About three thousand citizens live with incomes below the minimum pension. Minister of Labor Naida Nišić, to the question of MP Boris Mugoša, said that they are still collecting data

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There is no approximate deadline for when the work will be completed: Naida Nišić, Photo: Luka Zeković
There is no approximate deadline for when the work will be completed: Naida Nišić, Photo: Luka Zeković
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The working group of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare has not yet completed all the analyzes necessary to propose a solution for increasing proportional pensions, this was stated in the reply of the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Naide Nišić to a parliamentary question Boris Mugoša (SD).

In a special conclusion last year, at the proposal of Mugoša, the Assembly obliged the Government to propose a solution for increasing proportional pensions and the dynamics of increasing other pensions by the end of March this year. As the Government did not act on the conclusion, Mugoša asked what activities had been carried out so far.

In the answers, it was stated that the Working Group of the Ministry is still collecting the necessary data, and there is no indicative deadline for when it would be completed and when a solution for increasing proportional pensions could be expected.

There are about 11 proportional pensioners in Montenegro, who completed part of their working years in Montenegro and part in other countries, mostly the former Yugoslav republics. They receive part of their pension from Montenegro, and the other part or parts from other countries in proportion to their length of service. As they obtained their right to pension on the basis of interstate agreements, and not the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance, the increase of the minimum pension to 450 euros did not apply to this group of pensioners.

A significant group of pensioners suffers injustice: From an earlier protest in front of the PIO Fund
A significant group of pensioners suffers injustice: From an earlier protest in front of the PIO Fundphoto: Luka Zekovic

According to data from the PIO Fund, about three thousand of these pensioners have the sum of all their incomes, which is lower than the current amount of the Montenegrin minimum pension, which is why they are in a difficult financial situation.

Mugoša told "Vijesta" that he was not satisfied with Minister Nišić's answers.

"According to my proposal, which was unanimously accepted at the end of last year, the Assembly tasked the Government to propose the dynamics of increasing pensions by the end of March, with special reference to increasing the amount of pensions for users of proportionate pensions. Until today, April 22, the Government has not implemented the obligation defined for it by the Parliament. In the minister's answer, only the part about proportional pensions is mentioned and that a specific solution will be defined, although it remains unclear why, until the adoption of that solution, the Government did not find a way to compensate the part up to the minimum pensions for about 3.000 users of proportional pensions who receive below the minimum pension, knowing how much the cost of living has increased drastically", said Mugoša.

In their response, the Ministry stated that, in accordance with the conclusion of the Assembly, they formed a working group "in order to prepare the analyzes necessary to resolve these issues, especially the issue of beneficiaries of proportionate pensions". Members of the working group are representatives of the Ministry and the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund.

Minister Nišić states that the working group collected data on proportionate pensions and the amounts of their pensions that they receive in Montenegro and from other countries.

"So far, the working group has made an assessment on the basis of the lists that were exchanged with the pension funds of five neighboring states," it says in the answer.

It was also stated that after many years of negotiations, they finally harmonized the text of the agreement on social security with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that they expect it to be signed soon.

"As for a precise analysis of the fiscal impact of possible changes to the law on the state budget, it is necessary to obtain data on the amount of pensions from all countries with which Montenegro has concluded an agreement on social security, after submitting the mentioned data, a decision will be made on further steps to resolve this issue. questions", stated in the answers.

The PIO Fund previously announced that in February 2023 they launched an initiative to amend the PIO Act so that the total amount of proportionate pensions would not be lower than the minimum pension.

For other pensioners only regular adjustment

The conclusion also predicted that the dynamics of their increase should be proposed for other pensioners who receive amounts above the minimum by the end of March, because the minimums were increased by 52 percent in January, and all others by 2,08 percent.

"As for the 40 or so pensioners who have pensions over 450 euros and who were unfairly skipped over by the legal changes that were passed at the end of last year, the minister referred only to regular legal adjustments amounting to a few percent for the year 2024, which is also not the realization of the conclusion of the Assembly, because the Government is in charge of proposing an increase for them as well, in order to partially or completely correct the injustice towards them", stated Mugoša.

In the second part of the answers, which refer to the adjustment of pensions above the minimum of 450 euros, Nišić stated that in 2023 these pensions were increased by 17 percent in line with the growth of inflation and average wages, and that as of January 1 of this year additionally adjusted by 2,08 percent. She also said that the average pension is 511 euros, and that it is higher than the former Yugoslav republics only in Slovenia, as well as that they will be adjusted regularly on May 1 and September 1, without specifying the possibility of extraordinary adjustment.

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