Kazimir: Retirement Age Caps Against Sustainability of Public Finance

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Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (stock photo by TASR)

The introduction of constitutional retirement age caps is against the sustainability of public finances, stated Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (Smer-SD) on RTVS’s radio discussion programme ‘Sobotne dialogy’ (Saturday Dialogues).
The proposal to introduce the retirement age at 64 years is in Parliament in its second reading, with MPs to vote on it next week on Tuesday (October 23). “I had to face this as a member of the Government, who is also in charge of parameters of the long-term sustainability of public finances, and this measure goes in the opposite direction,” said Kazimir, adding that he is aware of the risks. “On the other hand, we live in a representative democracy, we haven’t invented any better system, and if we find a constitutional majority for a decision that is directed towards people, we must respect it,” noted Kazimir.
Opposition MP Eugen Jurzyca (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) has a similar opinion on this proposal. “This is another reason to get the public finances to surplus in order not to reduce the ratio between the average pension and the average salary. Personally, I consider the proposal to be the greatest internal risk for the Slovak economy as well as public finances,” said Jurzyca.
However, according to the finance minister, after setting the retirement age, the long-term sustainability can be addressed by other measures than by extending the retirement age. “For example, by improving employment; we must deal with supporting the birth rate, but we’ll also bring in new workers who will contribute to the system, we’ll have better education, which will then ensure higher salaries that will provide higher levies to the pension system,” said Kazimir.