Czech lawmakers approved a plan on Wednesday to speed up pension increases, giving the centre-left government a popular measure for voters before October’s elections.

Wages and welfare are among the main themes of this year’s general election. After three years of economic expansion, the Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union – 3.4 percent, according to Eurostat.

Under the plan approved on Wednesday, pensioners, starting in August, would see their income increased to match inflation and half the percentage growth of the country’s average salary. Currently, pensions rise by only a third of the wage growth plus inflation.

That would amount to around 500 crowns a month for the average pension of 11,460 crowns as of December 2016, instead of a 400-crown increase if the law were not amended. The average wage was 29,320 crowns as of the end of March.

The bill also reinstates a cap on the retirement age at 65, which the previous centre-right government abolished in 2011.

Czechs will vote on Oct. 20 and 21 in national elections.

 

Foto: Vaclav Pancer

From Warwickshire, UK. Journalist, editor and presenter. BA. Hons. Journalism, Liverpool John Moores University (BJTC certified).