Hungary: Early retirement for women and workers in difficult conditions

The debate about the early retirement for those working in extremely difficult or dangerous conditions continues in Hungary.

Early retirement schemes were abolished four years ago, but then extended year by year till 1 January 2015.

The government said the scheme could not continue any longer due to budgetary and labour market considerations.

Two trade union confederations, the Democratic League of Independent Trade Unions (LIGA) and the National Federation of Hungarian Trade Unions (MSZOSZ), came up with their own proposals for a replacement for the early retirement system, but these were ignored by the government.

In response, unions organised demonstrations against the decision, supported by some employer organisations.

In December 2014, the government said the abolition of early retirement schemes for workers in hazardous professions would go ahead. It said it was considering some options for working time reductions.

Since 2011, women with 40 years of service have been allowed to retire under the 40-year-service plus programme. From 2015, this initiative is to be broadened, with women job seekers over 60 years-old eligible for an early pension even if they have not worked for 40 years. In addition, women over 55 years-old who have 37 years of service could also enter this ‘pre-pension’ programme if they have at least one month of registered job seeker status.

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