Illustrative photo – President-elect Petr Pavel's press conference to summarize the bilateral negotiations in Munich and the program for the following week. February 20, 2023, Prague.
Prague – President-elect Petr Pavel will discuss the pension reform and the reduced extraordinary valuation of pensions this afternoon with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka. After Vít Rakušan (STAN) and Ivan Bartoš (Pirates), the leader of the People's Party is the third deputy prime minister to visit Pavel at the Hrzánské Palace, where the future head of state will hold office until his inauguration on March 9. On Monday, Pavel did not want to answer the journalists whether he would sign the amendment allowing a lower increase in pensions than the current law allows for pensioners.
It will be one of the first standards that Pavel will comment on as president. The government approved the controversial amendment on Monday, the Chamber will discuss it next week on Tuesday. Pavel plans to discuss with Jurečka the models that the ministry used in the valorization calculations. He would also like to talk about a systemic approach to changes in the pension system.
According to the bill, the average old-age pension should increase from June due to inflation by 760 crowns instead of 1,770 crowns, by which it would have increased under the current rules. According to the cabinet, the reduction is necessary to maintain the pension system, otherwise its deficit this year would reach 90 billion crowns. The opposition refuses to support the change, threatening complaints to the Constitutional Court and obstructions in the House of Representatives.
According to the law, pensions are increased exceptionally due to inflation if the increase in the consumer price index exceeds five percent during the monitored period. The merit percentage part of the pension is raised. It grows by as many percentages as the price increase has reached. However, according to the amendment, the percentage of the pension should increase less in June, namely by 2.3 percent and, on top of all that, by 400 crowns. An additional 15 billion crowns is needed for this this year. The government argues the dynamic growth of pensions last year and the fact that it must also have something to help other groups of residents affected by high inflation.