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Govt Softens Pension Reform Proposal

Ljubljana, 24 May (STA) - The government softened its pension reform proposal at talks hosted by Prime Minister Borut Pahor on Monday, offering to consider the retirement age as well as years of service and an extension of transitional periods.

Men could retire at 60 with 43 years of service and women at 58 with 41 years of service. Most transitional periods would end in 2020, Labour, the Family and Social Affairs Ivan Svetlik said after the latest round of talks with social partners.

To award companies which retain employees after they have met the retirement conditions, the government proposes a 50% reduction in employer-paid social security contributions.

The government had originally proposed a fixed retirement age of 65 for men and 63 for women but later backtracked, making 43 years of service for men and 41 years for women an alternative to the age condition only.

Both proposals were met with fierce opposition from unions, whose latest proposal envisages a minimum retirement age of 60 given 40 years of service for men and 38 for women.

The next meeting hosted by Prime Minister Borut Pahor will be on 8 June, but Pahor said that before the social partners discuss pension reform, they would try to find common ground on labour market, employment relationships and mini jobs bills.

Unions and representatives of employers said they would study the latest government proposal and provide feedback on 8 June.

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