For several months, there has been talk of abolishing special pensions in Romania and bringing them to a fair land, based on contributions to the state. Even with enormous pressure from the European Commission and the World Bank, we are unlikely to see substantial change.
This week, following the latest negotiation between the Labor Minister and Brussels officials, a new proposal to tax special pensions reached parliament, along with raising the retirement age for all categories of pensioners, including privileged ones, to 65 years. While the change looked substantial on paper, USR did the math and drew attention to the real-world effect of that effort. In fact, the governing coalition, once again, has a proposal to “save special pensions”, not abolish them, as explained by Cătălin Drula, the leader of the opposition party.
What happens to special pensions, in fact
The real effects of the latest legislative effort on the part of the governing coalition were calculated on the special pension of Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă. He currently enjoys a generous allowance from the state, but also a monthly service pension of 18,000 lei. After the “cutting” of special pensions, it will decrease to 15,000 lei per month. Cătălin Drula explained that the new project will not abolish the special pensions of parliamentarians or local elected officials either. In the case of the other categories, the changes are also minor and spread over the next 20 years, the head of USR explained.
“Let’s see with a concrete example: Prime Minister Ciucă. If in the first version from December, Nicolae Ciucă’s pension of 18,000 lei remained intact, and in the version from the Senate in April it remained with 17,000 lei, now they cut it a little more, it remains with “only” 15,000 lei. Still a ridiculous pension. If the principle of contribution was correctly applied as proposed by USR through amendments, Ciucă would be left with a little less than half (probably around 8,000 lei)”, Drula wanted to mention.