Zagreb - Parliament on Friday amended the Pension Insurance Actin the fast-track procedure, whereby statutory retirement age is restored at 65 and penalties for early retirement are reduced.
The amendments were adopted with 115 votes in favour and 5 abstentions, after the demands by the "67 is too much" civil society referendum initiative against the statutory age for retirement being at 67 were supported by more than 700,000 citizens. Taking account of the will of Croatian citizens and the fact that the required number of signatures were collected to call a referendum on amendments to the Pension Insurance Act, the parliament voted on the government-sponsored amendments.
The Pension Insurance Act regulates that eligibility for an old age pension is 65 years of age and at least 15 years of completed qualifying period instead of the current 67 years of age and 15 years of completed qualifying period. Eligibility for early retirement foresees 60 years of age and 35 years of completed qualifying period instead of 62 years of age and 35 years of completed qualifying period.
Long-term insurees could be eligible for an old age pension at the age of 60 if they have completed 41 years of the qualifying period instead of the 61 years of age and 41 years of completed qualifying period. Penalties for early retirement are being reduced to 0.2% rather than the current 0.3% for each month of retiring earlier than prescribed. The transition period is being extended to balance conditions for an old age pension and early retirement for women from 31 December 2026 to 31 December 2029.
As of 1 January 2030 the same requirements will be applicable for age pension eligibility for both men and women and that is at the age of 65 and 15 years of completed qualifying period.