The Social Democrats and Most are backing an initiative by unions to hold a referendum on extending the retirement age to 67.
Unions announced a plan on Tuesday to being collecting signatures for the referendum on the retirement age. They plan to collect signatures April 27 – May 11. Labor and Pension System Minsiter Marko Pavić argues the change is necessary to keep the system afloat and that not everyone will have to work until that age.
“Only those who have not reached 41 years of service will have to work until age 67. It's important because the average Croatian pensioner has 30 years of service and the EU average is 35. The average years of service for retirement in Germany is 37,” according to Pavić.
Social Democrat leader Davor Bernardić said his party will back the union’s initiative.
“The SDP will give its full support to the unions. I encourage all citizens to get involved and express their opinion about this attempt at reform by the government which will result in people having to work longer for a lower pension, and live an even harder life in retirement," Bernardić said.
Most, a party that leans conservative but is siding with the SDP on this issue, believes the government has failed citizens on this issue.
“We do not support citizens having to pay the price for everything, before the government does what it is supposed to. That's why we are going to support this initiative. We have always favored the expression of the will of the people via referendum,” said Most MP Nikola Grmoja.