Retirement age in Croatia to be lowered once more.

CH – 10/2019

At the beginning of this year, there was a further reform of the Croatian pension system. Its aim was to achieve alignment of the retirement age for men and women faster and to increase the general retirement age to 67, as previously stipulated in an earlier reform. The retirement age of 67 currently applies from 2033. The reform also includes provisions for early retirement reductions (0.3% per month, maximum 18%).

Three trade unions launched a petition in spring under the motto ‘67 is too high’. The aim was to force a referendum to reverse the pension reform.

They argued that a retirement age of 67 is too high under Croatian conditions. This is due to the low employment rate of people aged 55-65. Those who become unemployed at this age have little chance of finding a new job. In many cases, employees would also be dismissed in favour of younger people when they reached the age for early retirement. In summary, the trade unions see the need for labour market policy measures as a priority.

The unions were able to collect almost twice as many signatures as necessary.

What has happened in the meantime?

Prime Minister Plenković’s government did not hold a referendum. Instead, the demands of the trade unions were acknowledged, and a legislative initiative was launched. Two points are to be changed. The first is to return the retirement age to 65, and the second is to reduce discounts to 0.2% per month. In addition, labour market laws are to be adapted to allow a longer working career.

Meanwhile, there has been a public hearing on the legislative procedure. The final legislation is still pending.