1.65 million citizens receive RSD 20,000 today. Mali: "The payout has begun"
All pensioners in Serbia, of whom there are about 1.65 million, will be paid 20,000 dinars each in state aid today, Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, announced.Source: B92.net
"The payment has already started, the state allocated more than RSD 33 billion of additional aid for our oldest fellow citizens, which is in line with the current state policy of caring for the community and the individual in the years of crisis," Mali said.
He clarified that the money will be paid out through the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund of the Republic of Serbia and that this is the fifth one-time aid exclusively for pensioners in the last four years of the crisis in the world that started with the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and continued with the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the conflicts in Gaza.
"Until now, we have paid pensioners about EUR 650 in aid in five one-off payments and through one-off aid that reached all categories of citizens. In parallel with that, within two years, we have raised the average pension by 56.1 percent. It is a real fight to preserve standards of citizens, the fight against inflation and not allowing the world crisis to affect the quality of life of citizens," Mali said.
He reminded that first in April 2020, 4,000 dinars were paid to pensioners, then in December of the same year another 5,000 dinars, in September 2021 - EUR 50, and in February 2022 - RSD 20,000. With these grants only to the oldest population, they received, like all citizens who applied at the time, EUR 100 each in May 2020, and then EUR 80 in 2021 in three installments (30+30+20 euros).
"It is of great importance that we preserve the Serbian economic growth that we are recording, and this year it will amount to 2.5 percent in a year when European countries are going into recession. In addition, the goal is to preserve the purchasing power of citizens in the years when we also struggled with inflation brought about by world instability," Mali said.
He indicated that, guided by this, the state increased pensions by 5.5 percent on October 1, 2023, and from January 1, 2024, they will be increased by an additional 14.8 percent, which is a cumulative increase of 21.1 percent.
The average pension in 2022 was, as he said, EUR 267.6, and, he added, we expect it to reach EUR 326 this year, or EUR 390 in January 2024.
"The average pension in 2012 was only EUR 204 and this jump is a great success, but we are not stopping there. We will not be satisfied until we reach the promised EUR 650 by the end of 2027," Mali said.
In addition to the regular increase in pensions, the minister said, we also provided numerous discounts and benefits when paying for goods and services for pensioners through the "Pension Card" project, for which about 1,059,000 users have applied so far.
"Until November 29, more than 750 firms, companies, entrepreneurs, public companies and institutions joined the 'Pension Cards' project, and among them are all significant companies that have a network throughout Serbia, with very stimulating discounts. We know how much this means to pensioners," said the Minister of Finance.
He concluded that as the first step that was necessary to fulfill the main role of the state, to help its citizens, it was necessary to stabilize public finances, go through difficult fiscal consolidation, start wider systemic reforms and open Serbia for investments in order to finally start a circle of greater the number of open jobs, and then the increase in wages.
"We have succeeded in all that in the decade behind us, the results are significant. Serbia is now strong and we are continuing with all the necessary measures to preserve that growth," Mali concluded.