Slovakia’s liberal daily Sme reports
(4 July) that the country’s new (less liberal) Labour Code) passed by parliament will have limited impact on pensioners. The Code – seemingly in contrast to the Czech Republic – does not recognise the concept of a ‘working pensioner’ and proposals for restrictions on rolling temporary contracts for employees already in receipt of a pension were dropped after objections by the Ministry of Culture (controlled by the main governing party SMER) at the consultation stage. Those still employed who were past normal retirement age and paying into the state pension scheme will gain higher pension entitlements, but those already retired who take up employment will only gain marginally with much depending on what type of employment contract they conclude. Overall, the amended Code has been criticized for giving employees enhanced social rights and allegedly putting a heavier burden on (small and medium) employees.
Pensions do, however, still seem to be something of a hottish political issue in Slovakia as, the same paper reports (2 July), the left-populist government of Robert Fico is busy tinkering with the state-supervised private pension funds established as part of the previous government’s welfare reforms. The proposed new Social Law will allow transfers from the second pillar (compulsory individual private saving) back into the state pension system. This – combined with higher payments for employers, the self-employed and higher earners – is reportedly intended to bale out the state pension system