Prague, Sept 5 (CTK) – The Czech government wants to set the age at retirement at 65 years, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said on Twitter on Monday.

The government voted unanimously for the proposal. The relevant bill, which includes the alternative of a later postponement of the limit according to the development of life expectancy, will be now debated by the parliament.

It is likely to be passed there.

The right-wing opposition is of the view that this is nothing but pre-election populism.

“It is not realistic for people to be forced to work over 65,” Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (CSSD) said.

“For some professions, even this limit is too high. We are preparing a proposal that will take into account the demanding character of selected professions,” she added.

“After 60, disability soars and employers are reluctant to hire people over 55,” Marksova said.

“Instead of really making a systemic change, which would enable dignified pensions in the future, the government is buying the voters to whom this does not relate at all,” Jitka Chalankova, deputy chairwoman of the opposition TOP 09, said.

“It should be put openly from what we will be paying additional money to the pension account each year,” she added.

Along with the limitation of the age at retirement, the legislation includes the clauses under which a report on the expected life expectancy of the people born between 1966 and 1995 will be drafted in 2019.

If it turns out that such people are to spend in retirement more than one-quarter of their lives, a new government is to decide on whether to adapt the maximum retirement age accordingly.

The new assessments are to be made once in five years.

The first report for the decision-making is to be drafted on the basis of the data for 2018.

According to the ministerial report for the government meeting, one cannot expect any major changes in the life expectancy.

Finance Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO was opposed against the limit of 65 years for retirement.

Last week, it accepted the Social Democrats’ proposal after a coalition meeting, but Babis still argues that this is a populist proposal associated with the forthcoming regional elections.

Babis warns that the maximum age limit for retirement is clearly connected with the pension level. The lower the limit, the less money for pensions, he has said.

The elections to the regional self-rule bodies and one third of the Senate will be held on October 7-8.