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Ekonomia

Expert Koço Broka gives the latest news for pensioners, from the new scheme that aims to bring higher income, to the bonus that must be done urgently, here's what the law says

Expert Koço Broka gives the latest news for pensioners, from the new

The well-known economic expert, Koço Broka, has given all the last details about the problems and questions that pensioners have. In an interview for "SOT" newspaper, Mr. Broka states that the pension scheme that aims to bring higher incomes is necessary to be changed after 10 years have passed and now very big changes have taken place. Also, the expert says that for the year 2023 there was no full indexation of pensions and the government and the state are still in debt to pensioners. In the end, Mr. Broka says that in the conditions when the indexation was made at the level of 8.6%, higher than 6.7% and this is carried over this year, the adjustment for now should only be made with a bonus and it is necessary that the bonus be made as soon as possible.

- 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 needs to be changed as 10 years have passed and now very big changes have taken place. First, the main change is the demographic change, with the measures taken after the reform it was possible to increase the number of social security contributors, but meanwhile during this period the number of contributors increased from 554 thousand to 705 thousand pensioners. This was offset by an even higher number of new contributors. We have another situation, where the number of those who retire is greater or equal to those who enter the labor market. This will be deepened in the following years, and therefore after 10 years we will be in a situation where the number of pensioners will increase by 170-180 thousand and the number of contributors will be smaller, but it may fall, but this I can't say until the population census data is released. The publication of census data is a necessity and without the release of census data no one can say what are the main directions of consolidation of the new pension reform. Secondly, we have a problem, the pension reform of 2014 had a very important element as a phenomenon. If the pension reform or scheme before 2014 provided that the pension system would ensure a minimum standard of living. Under these conditions, the basic pension was about ALL 120 thousand. This pension, with the new reform of 2015, was reduced by 67,500, but in the meantime, the wage indexation coefficient was increased, as well as the time to receive a full pension was increased. From 35 years, it is provided that each year the time is increased by 4 months to receive a full pension. Currently, it takes 38 years and 4 months to receive a full pension. In 2029, you must reach 40 years of work to receive a full pension. While this is happening, we have the phenomenon of people retiring rapidly during the first decade, under these conditions the contributory age for paying pensions has been reduced. After 2015, we have an increase in age by four years every year, but we have a reduction in the contribution period due to the fact that we have massive unemployment among young people. This situation has created such a situation where the average pension of young pensioners is about 150 thousand ALL, from 145 thousand ALL. We have a very low level of pension, this has created a very big problem, on the one hand the sustainability of the scheme and on the other hand we have a very low level of the level of pensions. This situation requires an intervention, but this intervention cannot be done without having the results of the census data.

- 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?

Vendi ynë ka patur dy metoda të indeksimit të pensioneve, në vitin 1994 metoda e indeksimit të pensioneve ishte që sa herë rriteshin paga, të rriteshin dhe pensionet. Ky rregull u zbatua. Niveli i inflacionit në përgjithësi, me përjashtim të vitit 2002, ka qenë relativisht i ulët në nivelet 2-3%. Nga viti 2014 deri tani, kemi vetëm indeksim të pensioneve, kemi zbatuar metodën, vetëm në bazë të inflacionit por duke marrë parasysh shportën e mallrave që është specifike për pensionistët. Përjashtim bën viti 2023, ku nuk kishte indeksim të plotë të pensioneve dhe qeveria e shteti i kanë mbetur borxh pensionistëve. Niveli i inflacionit mesatar ka qenë 6.7%, kaq duhej të rritej niveli i pensioneve, por kjo nuk është bërë. Del e nevojshme që për grupe të caktuara pensionistësh, të paktën ato më të ardhura nën mesatare të kenë nivel më të lartë indeksimi. Duhet të ketë një skemë të veçantë. Duhet t’i nënshtrohet skemës së shportës së pensioneve, si për pagat e ulëta, si për pagat e lara, kjo është domosdoshmëri për arsye se t’ju jap garanci kontribuuesve të rinj që pensioni i tyre do të rritet në të ardhmen. Ndërsa për pensionistët nën nivelin minimum të jetesës, është e domosdoshme të merren masa për rritjen e nivelit të jetesës. Ko është parashikuar dhe në vetë ligjin e Sigurimeve Shoqërore. Të bëhet një indeksim më i lartë për shtresën e pensionistëve që janë me të ardhura më të ulta sesa pensioni mesatar.

-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?

Sa i përket moshës, reforma e tanishme e ka parashikuar rritjen e moshës. Çdo vit, grave iu shtohen katër muaj nga mosha e daljes në pension, kjo skemë do të vazhdojë deri në vitin 2032. Më pas do të vazhdojë edhe rritja e moshës si të burrave dhe të grave. Duke patur parasysh nivelin e jetëgjatësisë në vendin tonë, nuk mendoj se duhet rritur tani për tani mosha e daljes në pension. Kemi një numër jo të vogël, rreth 100 e ca mijë persona që punojnë dhe pas daljes në pension. Vitin e kaluar u mor masa që të vetë punësuarit të cilët kanë arritur moshën e pensionit të mos paguajnë më kontribute shoqërore ndërkohë ato që punojnë në sektorin privat, paguajnë siguracione por nuk iu shtohet pensioni. Kjo është një anomali dhe duhet rregulluar pasi punojnë, paguajnë kontribute shoqërore dhe as nuk iu njihet duke iu shtuar pensionin në një masë përkatëse. Aktualisht ka një padrejtësi sa i përket pensioneve të detyrueshme dhe pensioneve suplementare, këto të fundit janë shumë gjeneroze dhe ka një pabarazi te pensionet suplementare, veçanërisht pensionet e deputetëve dhe niveleve të tjera të administratës.  Një deputet për dy vitet e para të pensionit merr pension sa 10 % pagës referuese të tij, e cila është të paktën 3 milionë lekë. Më pas merr 5% në vit. Me vetëm 4 vite me vetëm një legjislaturë, një pensionist deputet merr 30% të pagës si pension suplementar përveç pensionit të detyrueshëm. Dhe brenda 4 viteve, del një pension shumë më i madh se 40 vite kontribute shoqërore që i janë paguar. 

-Ndërkohë në prill të vitit 2023 pati një indeksim te pensioneve, por pensionistët shprehen se nuk është i mjaftueshëm dhe kërkojnë një tjetër indeksim së shpejti. Por ka një kakofoni pasi ka zërë se mund të ketë një indeksim tani, ndërsa të tjerë thonë se do të jetë në muajin tetor. Sipas jush kur do të jetë indeksimi i radhës dhe a janë të efektshme indeksimet që bëhen?

In accordance with the requirement of the pension law, which provides for the indexation of pensions, there have been two decisions of the Council of Ministers for the concrete reform of indexation. That decision determines the basket of goods on the basis of which the indexation of pensions is calculated, and also determines the date. We have two decisions, one from 2006 and one from 2017, the spirit and letter of 2006 was very clear, which also determined the indexation date. Likewise, the spirit and letter of the decision of 2017 determines the method of calculating the inflation basket on the basis of the specific basket of goods for pensioners, determines when the inflation calculation is issued by ISTAT and by February 10 INSTAT sent the results to the institutions responsible but these have changed in recent years. And it was natural to do the indexing in April. We have a specificity, last year the indexation was done with 2.4%, then definitely the government and the Ministry of Economy and Finance should do the indexation. The Minister of Finance said that we implemented the law, but no, he did not implement the law. Let the ministry confront how the indexing was done for the previous year.

- Is there a possibility of a bonus for pensioners?

In the conditions when the indexation was made at the level of 8.6%, higher than 6.7% and this is carried over this year, the adjustment for now is done only with a bonus and it is imperative that the bonus be made as soon as possible.

Interviewed by: Xhoana Vrani?i

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