Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik told ERR's Otse uudistemajast webcast that fundamental agreements are in place for the pension reform in the government, while details still need to be hammered out. The coalition aims to pass the reform this year for its successful launch in 2021.
Kiik told host Anvar Samost that the final draft of the pension reform bill has not landed on his desk yet. The reform's working group has presented its results to the government and fundamental agreements are in place, while many questions still remain, such as tax policy, details of exiting the second pension pillar etc.
"There are other questions, including the investment account idea, how to separate these instruments from people's other financial assets," Kiik said. "Questions also need to be answered regarding the possibility of withdrawing sums from the second pillar either in part or in full. There are dozens of pages of such questions, some big and some small."
The minister said the reform has been discussed with the private sector, banks and insurance providers as these matters concern a large part of the financial market. Asked whether feedback from banks has been heeded, Kiik said the working group has not had time to analyze all proposals and the debate could continue in the Riigikogu.
The reform bill is expected to reach all sides in the near future and will likely be entered into proceedings by the Riigikogu Social Affairs Committee, not the government. The coalition aims to pass the bill before Christmas.
On the subject of the €100 extraordinary pensions hike promise of the Centre Party, Kiik said the platform was put together before the spring economic forecast was in. While prospects seemed rosy at first, the government had to find a way to cut €84 million instead.
"Extraordinary pension hike will be back on the agenda next year," the social minister promised. "And an extraordinary (in addition to indexation of pensions — ed.) hike of €7 is still more than what the previous governments did. There had not been an extraordinary hike for almost a decade."
Editor: Marcus Turovski