For now there is no solution for agricultural pensioners in Serbia, News
The proposal for a new model for resolving the status of agricultural pensioners has not been completed yet, although it should have been ready at the end of last year.
“The state, in cooperation with the World Bank, is working on solving the problems in the existing insurance system and is looking for a new model that will be valid for agricultural pensioners,” reads the text from the New Economy transmitted by the Beta agency. As it was pointed out, that should be the solution to the long-standing problem with the calculation of agricultural pensions and accumulated debts for contributions, which are estimated at two billion euros.
The focus of the experts is the analysis of the existing system, the state of debts, and a solution is being sought for their collection or write-off, they said in the Ministry of Agriculture.
The current and still valid model for determining the base of contributions for pension and disability insurance is based on the same amount of obligations that farmers pay annually, and the length of the payment period does not have a significant impact on the amount of pension. The same amount was paid by farmers who have a hectare of arable land and those who have hundreds of hectares.
“Therefore, in practice, it happened that a large number of farmers were indebted in an amount they could not pay, having in mind its economic strength,” they say in the ministry. They pointed out that “a large number of farmers have stopped paying contributions, which is a consequence of that model, so the pension fund is being transferred money from the budget to pay agricultural pensions.”
The problem is in the calculation because agricultural pensioners pay contributions on a minimum basis, which is very low, so the pension they receive is very low.
For now, it is known, as stated in the Ministry of Agriculture, that “the basic thesis of the new model is that the basis for determining contributions will be based on work, ie income that each farmer earns, in proportion to the area of the farm and the intensity of agricultural resources .
The amount of the pension, as they stated, will also be affected by the length of service, ie the number of years in which contributions are paid, and in that way a fairer model for paying contributions will be defined.
“Solving this problem is complex, bearing in mind that the majority of our farmers are not obliged to keep accounting records regarding the operations of their farms and the results achieved in connection with their operations,” said the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to the data of the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, in August this year, the total number of agricultural pensioners amounted to 154,719, while the average pension amounted to only 12,619 dinars.
The representative of the Association of Farmers of Ruma and the editor of the subsidy.rs portal Uglješa Trkulja said that agricultural pensioners who receive pensions of 100 euros have a hard time living, and the most difficult are old people who have not acquired any property to rent or if no one cares about them.
How agricultural pensions are calculated in the EU
The 2010 research “Farmers ‘Pension Insurance” by economist Boško Mijatović cites various examples of solutions for farmers’ pensions in the European Union. “In several countries, farmers are included in general pension insurance schemes, together with other categories of insured persons, and under equal conditions, the study states,” Beta writes.
In Denmark, there is a social pension for all citizens, which is financed from the budget, so farmers are also included in it, it was published in that research.
“In several other countries, the pension insurance of farmers is specially regulated. In Hungary and Romania, independent farmers are not included in the mandatory pension insurance, but are insured voluntarily. In the UK, farmers are covered by compulsory insurance, but are allowed to withdraw from this insurance if their income is below a certain amount. This suspension of insurance is not counted in the pension period later “, writes the study” Pension insurance of farmers “.
In Germany, pension insurance is also mandatory for the owner and members of his family, and contributions are determined based on the value of the property, according to the research, Biznis reports.