Croatia’s trade unions force referendum on retirement age

Croatian trade unions have collected more than 600,000 signatures in order to force a nationwide referendum on reducing the retirement age from 67 to 65.

“We want this to be an example of how the citizens can raise their voice and make a change,” commented Mirela Bojic, national coordinator of the unions’ campaign ’67 is too much’.

In order to fight against a fast-ageing population, Croatia’s parliament approved in December a proposal to raise the retirement age to 67 from 2033 in order to keep a sustainable pension system. According to the trade unions, life expectancy in Croatia is shorter than in its EU peers and many workers who cannot work until 67 for health reasons would therefore be penalised if they retire earlier.

The new law will also include a 3.6 per cent pension reduction for every year of early retirement and the trade union campaign has called for this to be reduced to 2.4 per cent.

The signatures have now been sent to the Public Administration Ministry for verification.