Former social protection minister and MP Kaia Iva left the Isamaa party on December 31 as she finds unacceptable the government seeking to render the second pillar of pension voluntary, weakening the pension system.
"Even though I've had 20 busy and interesting years at the party, certain political decisions do not permit me to remain a member," Iva told ERR on Wednesday.
Iva, who served as social protection minister in the previous government, finds unacceptable attempts to weaken the system of pensions. "I was the minister for social protection in the last government and up to speed on pensions as a result. I cannot accept the party spearheading the weakening of the second pillar by making it voluntary. Because it has now been said in no uncertain terms that Isamaa will not back down, I made my decision," she said.
Kaia Iva said that people are free to invest in their future today and that it should not serve as an excuse for reforming the pension system.
"We all know that we are free to invest, through the third pension pillar, real estate, shares. As all good people do by investing in their health, education, children – all those opportunities exist today. The first and second pension pillar form a whole and weakening one of them will not benefit the system," Iva said.
Iva, who ran against Helir-Valdor Seeder for Isamaa and Res Publica Union chairman in 2017, said she will continue in local politics in the Türi municipality where her political career began.
Iva said there are like-minded people in Isamaa as concerns the pension reform and that she wishes them the best of luck.
She is not considering joining another party. "No, I have not given it any thought," she said.
Iva was a member of Isamaa from 1999. She served as mayor of Türi in 2002-2005, an MP in 2007-2011 and 2011-2015 and as head of the Isamaa and Res Publica Union Riigikogu group in 2011-2015. Kaia Iva is currently a member of the Türi municipality council. Local paper Järva Teataja wrote that her powers were suspended on December 6 following health concerns.
The Centre Party, EKRE and Isamaa have decided to render the second pillar voluntary and give people the chance to withdraw savings. The bill has passed its first reading in the Riigikogu.
Editor: Marcus Turovski