In 20 years’ time we are going to have an army of poor pensioners

In Serbia, workers who have been getting the minimum wage during their entire working life will be guaranteed a minimum old-age pension, which today stands at less than 20,000 dinars.

It is estimated that some 400,000 workers are currently on the minimum wage, and if this trend continues, their future pensions will be very low.

Experts think that if this policy continues in 20 years, Serbia will have an ‘army’ of poor elderly people. Currently, pensioners are mostly those former workers who started and ended their careers in state-owned companies and who started working early in life. Generations of future pensioners have spent most of their working years undocumented or receiving the minimum salary.

It has been estimated that today about half a million elderly people have a monthly income of less than 20,000 dinars and the poverty line is set at 22,000 dinars per household. However, it is not easy to determine the exact number of workers who receive the minimum wage and how much their number has increased in recent years.

The State Statistical Office (RZS) has no data on the number of employees working for the minimum wage, and the Serbian Tax Administration could not provide such data either. In the 2021 analysis, the Fiscal Council stated that about 20 per cent of the workers receive the minimum wage, which is about 400,000 people.

Nadežda Satarić of the Amity Association, which fights for a better position of poor and vulnerable population groups, says that even an average pension of 30,000 dinars will be unattainable for many.

“There will be many people who will have a very low pension because more and more employers are paying payroll contributions on the minimum wage and the rest of the salary is paid out directly to the employee, in cash. Like many other problems, this affects women more, so it is not surprising that their pensions are on average 20 per cent lower than those received by men,” Satarić adds.

(Danas, 12.09.2022)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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