RIGA – On Feb. 28, Latvian government approved gradual increasing the retirement age already in 2014, in accordance with the Welfare Ministry's amendments to the concept of long-term stability of the social insurance system.
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) only remarked that the proposal had been backed by the Latvian Employers' Confederation - but opposed by unions.
The previous amendments to the Law on State Pensions stipulated that the retirement age would be gradually increased from 2016. Now, however, it has been that the retirement age would be gradually increased already from 2014 taking into account the negative welfare budget trends and the latest population census data.
The reform will concern residents born in 1952-1957, about 50,000 people altogether.
According to the government's decision, the current retirement age of 62 will be increased by three months on January 1 of 2014 and 2015, and starting from 2016 by six months every year, until reaching 65 in 2020.
Early retirement age will also be increased, according to the same schedule, to 63 in 2020.
The Welfare Ministry also plans to increase the minimum insurance record, from 10 to 15 years starting from 2014, and to 20 years starting from 2020.
Also, payments supplementing old-age and invalidity pensions will be paid from master budget, not welfare budget, starting from 2013 - not 2014 as the government planned earlier.