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Ekonomia

The good news that awaits pensioners this year, from a new law for the elderly who do not have the old insurance documents to receive a pension, to the new changes that the Social Insurance Institute is preparing in rural areas, here's who benefits

The good news that awaits pensioners this year, from a new law for the elderly

No one would like to be a pensioner in Albania today, not only for reasons of age shocked by the last knocks of life, but also because of the way they are treated in our society. It is the class that is not supported at all by the government, seeing the ridiculous pensions they receive. But the situation can have some improvements in some directions that all these years have caused a lot of problems. Starting this year, the pension scheme is expected to undergo drastic changes. This urgent intervention has come as a result of demographic developments, where the contributing population is decreasing more than the forecasts and the number of beneficiaries is increasing. The government and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have analyzed several options, which will be ready this year. Through them, it is intended to correct the defects that emerged from the implementation of the 2014 reform, guaranteeing at the same time the long-term financial stability of the scheme and the pensioners' income. The changes that are being discussed are expected to take into consideration the reduction of years with pension contributions. The form of indexation of pensions is also under discussion, where an alternative could be the increase in the same percentage of pensions as the average salary. The reform aims to strengthen other elements of economic assistance for retirees who meet the conditions for retirement. In discussion is the increase of the social pension with the degree of relative poverty. The rural pension scheme is also part of the review both in terms of contributions and benefits, as the majority of poor pensioners are currently in rural areas.

The new law for the elderly and the increase that will happen in October

On the other hand, the Social Insurance Institute is close to finalizing a law to solve once and for all the problems faced by the elderly who do not have the old insurance documents to receive a pension. It is learned that this institution has a plan to reduce this and move to a near-religious recognition of these periods in order to avoid administrative complaints. In simpler words, it is being prepared to keep the automatic recognition of these periods possible. Also, the increase in pensions is the other good news for this category. Indexation of pensions will be done in October. The indexation this year will be 4.5, it is still a figure that needs 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. Experts have indicated that this time the increase may be greater as a result of the election campaign. Every time there are elections, the government "opens the bag". Even this time it is no surprise that the permanent year-end bonus is even higher.

Good news for Albanian immigrants in Italy

There is also good news for Albanian immigrants in Italy. From July, the implementation of the agreement between the two countries begins. From the month of July, Albanian immigrants in Italy will benefit from the implementation of the agreement signed between our country and the Italian state on the recognition of pension contributions. The agreement in the field of social security, now finally ratified by both parties, has been published in the Official Gazette. This agreement was signed in February of this year, between the Foreign Minister of Albania and that of Italy. After approval by the respective assemblies, this agreement will now become a reality and will be applied to old-age, disability, family pensions, as well as sickness, maternity and unemployment insurance. With the entry into force of the agreement, Albanian immigrants who are on the verge of retirement can apply to the Social Insurance Institute in Italy. About 500 thousand Albanians who live and work in Italy, but also Italian citizens who have been settled in Albania for years, are expected to benefit from the mutual recognition of pensions. This agreement makes it possible not to lose years of contributions and for citizens to benefit from pensions from both countries. A person who has 10 years of work in Albania and 15 years of work in Italy can benefit from a pension in Albania and a pension in Italy for those 15 years that he may have contributed there. The Italian government has provided a fund of 136 million euros for the implementation of the recognition of pensions until 2032. Meanwhile, it is expected that Albania will finalize a similar agreement with many other countries where there is a presence of Albanian immigrants.

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