Prague, Sept 18 (CTK) – Czech monthly pensions are to increase by 475 crowns on average next year, which is their highest rise since 2008, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Such an increase has been possible thanks to legislative changes, she said. Under the previous rules, the increase would have reached maximally half of the sum, she added.

The state will pay 16.6 billion crowns more in pensions next year as a result, Marksova said.

The government of the CSSD, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) agreed on the increase in pensions already in the spring.

The outgoing government is negotiating about the last controversial issues in the 2018 state budget bill, in which pensions are responsible for the highest spending.

In 2016, the government approved 416.5 billion crowns to be spent on pensions this year.

The average monthly old age pension was 11,807 crowns in June 2017, while at the end of 2013 it was 10,970 crowns, according to data of the Czech Social Security Administration (CSSZ).

This year, old age pensions increased by 309 crowns a month on average. In 2016, the pensions went up by 40 crowns and in 2015 by 200 crowns.

Under the new rules, pensions should be increased by one-half of the rise in real wages, instead of by one-third, and by the rise in the prices of commodities that seniors buy. This inflation level would be used for the calculation if it were more advantageous for pensioners than the current general rise in prices.