As of Jan. 1, 2012, the number of pensioners for the first time rose above 400,000 and higher than 30 percent of the population, says Statistics Estonia, reports Postimees Online. There were nearly 9,000 more pensioners in Estonia than on Jan. 1, 2011. The total number of pensioners was 404,525 on Jan. 1, 2012 and, according to the Statistics Board’s estimated non-migratory population number, they accounted for 30.2 percent of the population. Old-age pensioners took the largest share in the total number (74 percent); pensioners for incapacity for work accounted for 22 percent. In comparison with ten years ago, the share of pensioners for incapacity for work has nearly doubled – in 2002 they accounted for 13 percent of all pensioners. The increase in the number of pensioners in Estonia has been due to demographic factors and the economic crisis. At the same time, the increase in the pension age has prevented the number from growing even higher.
The government approved on April 5 the proposal for paying one of two parents additional pensions, depending on the date of birth of their children, reports National Broadcasting. According to the current version of the draft law, 4 percent of average wages would be paid to the second pillar pension fund to one of the parents of children who are born in 2013 or later, until the child reaches the age of three. For example, if a child is born in early 2013, one of the parents would receive a total of approximately 1,134 euros in payments into the obligatory pension fund over the course of three years. In order to receive the additional payment into pension funds, a parent would have to submit a relevant application to the Social Insurance Fund, whereas parents would have to agree on which one of them would use the benefit.
In its supervisory report on problems experienced by trucks on the land border between Estonia and Russia, the State Audit Office noted that the length of waiting period for vehicles mostly depends on the organization of the work of Russian customs authorities and border crossing points, reports National Broadcasting. The audit noted that implementing digital queues in Estonia and constructing waiting areas for vehicles helped improve the organization of border-crossing in Estonia and eliminate lengthy queues from the local roads, but the situation has not improved significantly. The fact that the Russian side admits and releases vehicles in groups causes problems in the work of Estonian border crossing points and reduces their processing capacity. Hence drivers of vehicles cannot always be certain that they would be able to enter the border crossing point at a designated time. The customs authorities of the two countries lack a relevant intergovernmental cooperation agreement and there is no partnership between institutions, as the Russian Federal Customs Service has not been open towards cooperation.