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Recent social protection developments concerning long-term care (Austria) and old-age pensions (Serbia and Slovenia)

14/08/2017

Three new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on recent social protection developments concerning long-term care (Austria) and old-age pensions (Serbia and Slovenia):

  • In Austria, the assets of people in inpatient long-term care (LTC) and their relatives will in future no longer have to be utilised before social assistance steps in to bear costs not covered by other individual financial resources. The constitutional provision abolishing all forms of recourse to the assets of people in inpatient long-term care derives from an ad-hoc decision by the Parliament and will enter into force in all federal provinces by 1 January 2018 at the latest. Demand for inpatient LTC is likely to rise substantially and may change the Austrian long-term care regime structurally.
  • In Serbia, trade unions proposed amendments to the application of penalties in the case of early retirement in April. They suggested that the pensions of early-retirees should not be reduced permanently, as is currently the case, but only until these pensioners reach the statutory pensionable age (once they have reached it, pensions should be recalculated on the basis of the standard old-age scheme). A working group has been set up to assess the impact of this proposal, but the trade unions’ representative was dissatisfied with the working group’s work and left. The outlook is uncertain, as there has been no response from the Ministry of Finance concerning the financial feasibility of the trade union’s proposal.
  • The Slovenian amended Pension and Disability Insurance Act will increase the minimum old-age and disability pension to €500 per month as from 1 October 2017 for pensioners meeting the full retirement conditions. This amount slightly exceeds the income threshold for entitlement to the “income supplement” benefit, thus ensuring the provision of basic social protection to low-income pensioners.