Pensions next year are set to go up by an average of 475 crowns per month
next year, the Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Michaela Marksová
announced on Monday.
The planned increase is the highest since 2008.
According to the Czech social security administration, the average monthly pension at the end of June amounted to 11,807 crowns. Prior to the current government, the average stood at 10,970 crowns.
The Czech Republic’s retirement homes and other social care facilities are lacking thousands of employees, according to the Association of Social Services Providers. It says low pay in the sector makes it difficult for organisations to find and hang on to staff. This is putting such services at risk and may preclude people finding places in care facilities. Many Czech care workers seek employment in neighbouring Germany and Austria, where even basic language skills can suffice, the association said.
Over 90 percent of young Czechs don’t know what the average old-age pension is in the Czech Republic or how much their parents’ or grandparents’ receive, according to a survey carried out by Broker Consulting. Over 60 percent of those asked thought that the average old-age pension ranged between 14,000 and 17,000 crowns, but in fact it only ranges between 9,000 and 12,000, nearly 60 percent of Czechs said they need to receive around 17,000 crowns a month when they retire to make end meets.
Government leaders have failed to agree on a formula for increasing pension payments to the elderly. A proposal that pensions be increased by half the level of real wages instead of the current third was put forward by the leading government party, the Social Democrats. Both coalition parties ANO and the Christian Democrats had reservations and have called for further discussion. Figures from 2015 showed most pensioners receiving less than 11,230 crowns a month, just above the poverty level for individuals. Government leaders met late Monday.
Dancing is fun, but the latest research suggests it could be far more beneficial for your health than previously thought. Scientists at Brno’s Masaryk University are studying the effects of dancing on a group of seniors to see whether practicing this form of activity regularly could slow down or even prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
The time Czechs spend in retirement has increased by an average of four years since the year 2000, according to data from the statistical yearbook of the Czech Social Security Administration released on Wednesday. In 2015, the average time spent in retirement was 24 years. This is connected with growing life expectancy. According to the Czech Statistics Office, the lifespan has increased by more than four years in Czech men and three years in women since the beginning of the millennium. At present, women spend an average of 27.5 years in retirement and men around 19 years. According to the pension commitee of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, a person should spend about a quarter of their lives in retirement.
Plans are in place to create new entrances to Prague’s Main Train Station, iDnes.cz reported on Monday. The Railway Infrastructure Administration is going to extend the underpass beneath the station’s platforms so that it joins freshly built walkways to Žižkov and Vinohrady, the news site said. At present some people take a dangerous route across the station’s tracks to reach the two districts, despite warning signs. The new entrances should be in operation from 2018.
The Health Ministry wants to reduce health expenditures for seniors and children by lowering the ceiling on annual expenses for medicines for groups at risk. According to the proposal people over 70 should not have to contribute more than 500 crowns a year to their medicines, down from the present 2,500, and minors should pay a maximum 1,000 crowns, down from the present 5,000. Under the present arrangement patients are reimbursed for anything paid over that limit by their respective insurance company at the end of the year. The opposition centre-right parties are opposed to the idea, arguing that the present ceilings are generous enough.
The parties in the Czech coalition government have agreed to increase old-age pensions by CZK 300 a month from January. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said on Sunday that the necessary CZK 3.5 billion to fund the increase had been found in the state budget and that he would put the proposal forward at a cabinet meeting. Government leaders the Social Democrats also want to give pensioners and extra CZK 300 a month, though a hitherto coalition agreement had envisaged an increase of just CZK 200. Ministers are set to discuss the increase on Wednesday.