Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic met yesterday with the Chairman of the Association of Pensioners of the Republic of Srpska Rade Rakulj, Chairman of the RS National Assembly Committee for Monitoring the Pension Insurance Matters and Director of the RS Pension Fund, Mladen Milic.
Prime Minister Cvijanovic stated after the meeting that pensions in the Republic of Srpska shall be increased by additional two percent and in that way the Government would realize the RS NA conclusion on pensions adjustment.
“The decision on the adjustment of pensions, extending up to five percent, was actually made in two steps, last year and now for the remaining two percent increase”, Prime Minister Cvijanovic explained and added that it would mean that BAM 1.7 million KM will be allocated monthly for the mentioned two percent increase, starting from the April pension until the end of the year.
Prime Minister Cvijanovic expressed satisfaction about the fact that payment of pensions had been redirected through the treasury system since 2016 which guaranteed the regularity of disbursement and the fact that there were no longer delays in the payment of pensions.
“At the same time, we have been gradually over the past years increasing the pensions because this was the only way not to jeopardize the payment system. Today we are much better off financially, the budget is much more stable than few years ago and we discussed during the meeting how to proceed in the coming period “, Prime Minister Cvijanović said.
The Prime Minsiter emphasized that the Government is commited to continue with the increase of pensions.
“After the analysis are made, as done before, we are hopeful that by the end of the year it would be possible to make one more adjustment and increase pensions once more”, Prime Minister Cvijanovic said.
Chairman of the Association of Pensioners of the Republic of Srpska Rade Rakulj thanked Prime Minister Cvijanovic for her understanding and commended the Prime Minister’s commitment to the improvement of the situation who did more for the pensioners population during her term than all previous governments together.
Mr. Rakulj said that an overall 17.5% increase of pensions in the last five years was impressive percentage and thanked the Prime Minister for opening the possibility for yet another increase this year.
Mr. Rakulj further said that a number of pensioners still live very poorly since their bases for calculating pensions inherited from the previous period were very low.
Ilija Stevancevic, Chairman of the Committee for monitoring the situation in the field of pension and disability insurance of the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska pointed out that the treasury system of pensions payment was the best thing that could have happened to pensioners in the Republic of Srpska and welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement about possible increase of pensions this year stating it was encouraging.
Director of the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund Mladen Milic said that the measures of the Government of the Republic of Srpska in this sector gave positive effect and that the situation with regard to collection of pension contributions increased and improved.
“Only five or six years ago there were 48.5% of pensioners who were users of the right to old age pension and now we have reached almost 56%. We also had 18% of the beneficiaries of the right to disability pension whereas now that percentage is below 15%. We still have a relatively high percentage, approximately 29%, of the beneficiaries of the right to family pension what is the consequence of the past war”, Milic said.
Milić emphasized that only the Republic of Srpska, when compared to the region, had been continuously increasing pensions and despite economic crisis, did not reduce pensions.