Bulgaria: Employers propose pension reforms

Bulgarian government accepts employers' proposals for pension reforms.

Employers' proposals for reforming the Bulgarian pension system have been included in the government's pension reform project ‘Borisov 2’, revealed on 31 March by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ivailo Kalfin, and the Minister of Economy Vladislav Goranov. 

In February 2015, proposals to ensure the pension system's financial stability (in Bulgarian) were put forward by the four national representative employers' organisations in Bulgaria: the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA); the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (KRIB); the Association for Industrial Capital in Bulgaria (BICA); and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

They suggested reviewing the criteria for jobs included in the first category of labour and also suggested eliminating the second category of labour. Both categories cover hazardous occupations and are defined by the 1999 Ordinance for categorisation of labour for retirement (in Bulgarian, 114 KB PDF)

The employers wanted to preserve a three-pillar pension system, which comprises:

  • obligatory state pension insurance;
  • supplementary pension insurance in a pension fund;
  • additional voluntary pension insurance.

Another proposal is to increase pension contributions and raise the minimum retirement age to 65, with a requirement for men to have worked at least 40 years and women 37 years before the full retirement pension can be claimed.

The employer organisations insist that the social insurance system should be free of all social payments that have no relationship with personal social security contributions t(hat have the character of social assistance) and that pensions for those in public services such as the army and police should be transferred to a separate fund. In order to limit the social security deficit and to reduce malpractice, employers also suggest reforming and monitoring the disability pensions system and the way medical evidence is used to support eligibility for such pensions.


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