Prague, Sept 18 (CTK) – Czech monthly pensions will only be raised by an average of 40 crowns in 2016 in consequence of a low inflation and the government coalition decided to raise the promised one-off bonus for pensioners from 600 to 900 crowns, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova said Friday.
Pensioners will get the bonus to compensate for low pensions indexation in the past years in February 2016, not in December as was supposed originally.
Year-on-year inflation slowed to 0.3 percent in August from 0.5 percent in July.
Pensions are regularly raised as from January 1 by inflation and one third of the growth in real wages.
Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD) first proposed to raise pensions more than set by law. They were to go up by an average of 205 crowns, or 1.8 percent.
The government coalition eventually agreed to raise pensions according to law and pay out a one-off bonus before Christmas.
However, the rightist opposition has blocked a quick passing of the proposal in the Chamber of Deputies.
“Since the opposition did not allow the debate in a shortened regime, pensioners will get the one-off contribution next February,” Marksova said.
She said the increasing of the bonus has been negotiated with Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO).
The increase of 300 crowns will amount to 0.85 billion crowns. On the whole, the government will earmark 3.85 billion crowns for the pensions rise in 2016. The ministry’s original proposal for raising pensions amounted to 5.5 billion crowns.
The average old-age pension rose by 104 crowns to 10,714 last year according to the data of the final state account. The Czech Social Security Administration (CSSZ) paid out 2.4 million full and 17,000 relative pensions last year.