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Ekonomia

Economy expert, Fatos Çoçoli: Here is how much the pension increase will be that will be realized in October, the scheme that is being followed and the details of the two bonuses that the third age will receive for this year

Economy expert, Fatos Çoçoli: Here is how much the pension

The well-known economic expert, Fatos Çoçoli, has spoken about the new pension scheme. In an interview for the "SOT" newspaper, Mr. Çoçoli says that the government is working with experts from the World Bank in handling pensions according to the state scheme to give as much money as possible for the lowest pensions. He says that the basis on which the indexation is carried out is the increase of pensions with the price level of the food basket, the goods consumed by a family of pensioners, including medicines and some basic services. On the other hand, the expert also talked about the indexation that the government is preparing, as well

-Mr. Çoçoli, very soon a new scheme will be applied for pensions but also for social protection as a whole. Given that the reform made in 2014 has closed its cycle and has not properly addressed the problems, the World Bank and the Albanian government are getting ready to implement a new reform, which aims to be more sustainable and bring higher incomes to retirees. In your opinion, why is Albania changing the pension scheme after 10 years?

The pension scheme started reforming in 2014 but did not complete it. In the latest data, the Ministry of Finance has increased contributions to this scheme. But if it was talked about at the level of 680 million euros in 2016, as contributions now they can be at 1.2 billion. From these 10 years, the scheme has doubled the income, but pensioners have not had their pension increased. There are some factors where the government cannot double since the pensioners themselves are not as numerous as they were 10 years ago at 540,000 pensioners, the number of beneficiaries of the scheme has increased and it would not be possible for the pensions from the 130 euros that used to be seen to go to 270 euros. Now pensions are around 185-187 euros. The changes have not brought what was expected from the reform and why is it higher compared to 10 years ago with 40% higher but not enough as an increase in pensions at the average level. The government is working with experts from the World Bank in the treatment of pensions under the state scheme to give as much money as possible to the lowest pensions. The basis on which the indexation is carried out is the increase of pensions with the price level of the food basket, the goods consumed by a family of pensioners, including medicines and some basic services.

- In the new scheme, the indexation of pensions is expected to be reviewed, where the inflation of the basket is currently taken into consideration. How likely is this?

Këtë po synon qeveria me një formulë të re që një pjesë e pensioneve shumë të larta të kenë një indeksim tjetër, ndoshta indeksin vjetor të përgjithshëm që dukshëm është më i ulët sesa ai i mallrave të shportës. Dhe pensionet më të ulta të përfitojnë nga diferenca. Një moment keqkuptimi dhe pritje nga ana e pensionistëve në fillim të muajit prill të kishte një indeksim, ku pensionet me paga më të ulta të kenë një indeksim ndryshe, sepse jo çdo nivel pensioni përballon rritjen e çmimeve. Është më e lartë se inflacioni mesatar vjetor që për këtë vit pritet të jetë të 3-3.3%. Dhe nëse del 4.5% nuk mundet një pension i ulët, nën mesatar të indeksohet në % i lartë në kushtet e vendit tonë 30-40 mijë lekëve të reja.

-Po ashtu, në fokus të ndërhyrjeve do të jetë edhe mosha e daljes në pension referuar projeksioneve qe janë bërë nga reforma e vitit 2014, si dhe do të preken edhe pensionet suplementare. Mund të na jepni më shume detaje rreth kësaj?

Zgjatja e kohës në pension kupton nënkupton rritjen e kontribuuesve, sepse duke e nxjerr një kontribuues në 1-1.5 vit më vonë në pension ti i ke ofruar shoqërisë 1 vit e gjys kontribute në skemë. Duke zgjatur kohën e marrjes së pensionit, shtojmë sasinë e kontributeve, ky do të jetë efekti i parë në skemë. Edhe politikat e pensioneve suplementare do të pësojnë ndryshime, që më kalimin e kohës skema ka vështirësi pavarësisht rritjes së pagave në shtet janë rritur dhe kontributet, por duhet të kemi parasysh që vitet e fundit më shumë kontribuues hyjnë në pension sesa kemi kontribuues të rinj. Dhe kjo është sfida më e madhe. Janë tre arsye kemi më pak kontribuues të rinj sot:  a. Kemi një emigracion të fortë te të rinj dhe kontribuuesit e tjerë dhe 90% e emigrantëve janë në stad pune ose studentë. Do të vazhdojë si trend, nuk e ndërpret dot pavarësisht frenimit. Sfida është të bëjmë mundësinë ajo që quhet informalitet në skemën e kontributeve shoqërohet të mund të pakësohet, e kemi ende shumë të largët. Sot në sektorin privat ke ende rroga të trukuara, që në kohën e skandalit të publikimit të data bazës së pagave, rreth 25 mijë bizneseve që iu tha në mënyrë shoqërore iu tha se kemi të dhëna që ju deklaroni në shtet një nivel të ndryshuar të pagave që duhet të jenë më të larta. Dhe një pjesë e bizneseve reaguan duke sjellë borderotë dhe listat e reja me paga më të larta, por nuk u korrigjuan të gjithë bizneset. Kjo përkthehet në shifrat që disa dhjetëra miliona më pak në skemë dhe ndikon dhe do të ndikojë dhe në të ardhmen. Në momentin që pensioni merr një indeksim, duhet të qëndrojë në nivelet e reja, ndërkohë që më të shumë po shohen pensionistë sesa kontribuues. Kjo skemë, gjithmonë do të jetë në sfidën e fortë që nuk mjaftojnë paratë dhe gjithnjë buxheti i shtetit do ta subvencionoje. Tani kemi lajmin pozitiv që e subvencionon më pak, në shifrat diku te 78-79 milion euro, por më pak në vitin 2023. Për arsyen e thjeshtë se u rriten kontributet e sigurimeve shoqërore me rritjen e pagave në shtet. Kemi afro 218 mijë punonjës në shtet, është rritur dhe paga mesatare që do të shkojë 900 euro këtë vit. Këto të gjitha e përmisojnë për një periudhë të përkohshme, në një periudhë afat mesme kjo skemë do të dhurojë gangrenën e madhe që ka faktin se po trokohen shumë fortë pagat, ku ka një informalitet shumë të lartë në deklarimin e pagave reale që merr sektori privat. Kjo duhet të ndryshojë që të fitohen më shumë para në skemë. Ndryshimet nuk i shoh të jenë shumë themelor, ndihmojnë shumë por ndryshimi themelor është që të zbres në minimumin e mundshëm që mund të arrijnë ta zbresin këtë informalitet të lartë në deklarimin e pagave. Nga ana tjetër ka të bëjë dhe me pensionet private të detyrueshme, këtu do shihet realisht reforma e mirëfilltë të pensioneve tona.  

-Meanwhile, in April 2023, there was an indexation of pensions, but pensioners say that it is not enough and demand another indexation soon. But there is a cacophony as it is rumored that there may be an indexation now, while others say it will be in October. In your opinion, when will the next indexing be and are the indexings that are done effective?

The second indexing will take place in October. The indexation this year will be 4.5, it is still a figure that has to be released by INSTAT. It is done in October due to the fact that INSTAT publishes the figures of the consumer goods index, the average prices for goods that are mainly consumed by pensioners. And the government indexes the pensioners immediately with the figure given to INSTAT. In April 2023 the government indexed them after there was an exceptional year of very high inflation representing 2022 and pensioners should be protected twice, with two indexations. If we had the annual inflation at the level of 7.5 in 2022, the consumer goods index would be 8.4, very heavy as an average increase in the prices of basket goods.

- Is there a possibility of a bonus for retirees?

There will be some that won't, that's the number one reason we have a revenue surplus. If the oil of Shpirag is put to industrial use, it is a matter of what the government will get, it will put it in the basket of aid for pensioners in the form of a special fund outside of any type of current account of the state budget. That is why the government will consider the possibility of having two bonuses for this year in effect and depending on how much additional income will be added to the budget. The government is expected to have a primary surplus, where coherent expenditures with revenues exceed expenditure figures. With this surplus of revenue, it is only natural that the government reviews for two bonuses. But it is not easy to decide on a bonus for pensioners. The bonus is 50 euros multiplied by 700,000 pensioners, it is 56 million euros from the state budget and it is not easy to take this step. But it will be possible for the government to justify giving two residents. I see this possibility possible from the second half of the year, where it is confirmed that there will be additional income from the preliminary balance of the first six months of the year.

Interviewed by: Xhoi Vrani?i

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