Skopje, 5th October 2015 (MIA) – Around 300,000 pensioners received the promised pension increase by Denar 621 today. The increase is linear for all pensioners, being the largest for those receiving pension lower than Denar 9,000, and the increase in this case accounts for 7%.

Pension increase and support extended to the pensioners by the Government through other projects were the reasons for today’s meeting of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, and Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Dime Spasov, with the management of the Union of Pensioners’ Associations of Macedonia.

– One of the major promises made by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia is kept. Since this morning, around 300,000 pensioners throughout the country started receiving the increased pensions. As we have promised, each pensioner will receive a linear increase by Denar 621, thus we are helping improve their living standard, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said following the meeting.

He also added that support to the pensioners was extended in many segments, not only the pension increase segment which was continuously ongoing.

– Pensions were also increased last year, like the year before, and there will be increased next year as well. Funds for new pension increase by Denar 650 are allocated in the 2016 Budget, which the pensioners will be paid in October. In addition, we also support the pensioners with other measures so as to improve the living conditions, Stavreski said.

Minister of Labour and Social Policy pointed out that average pensions have increased by 70% as of October 2015 inclusive, while the lowest pension surged by 84%. As he said, this is a large increase achieved in the years past.

– We are continuously having dialogue and as a result of that cooperation we have kept on implementing projects of relevance to the pensioners, Spasov said, adding that one of those projects was the promised pension increase.

President of the Union of Pensioners’ Associations, Dragi Argirovski, spoke of the good cooperation with the Government and the favourable outcomes thanks to such cooperation.

– All pensioners are satisfied, especially with the pension increase. Pensions are reduced everywhere, however they are increased only in our country. As a result of the increase, average pension amounts to EUR 220 today, while it amounts to EUR 190 in Serbia, EUR 135 in Bulgaria, EUR 120 in Kosovo and EUR 145 in Albania, Argirovski said.

He also stated that it was worth mentioning that the pension increase was larger for the pensioners receiving lower pensions. Hence, he said, 220,000 pensioners receive pensions higher by 4% to 8%.

In addition to the increase, other projects were also discussed during the meeting, and Minister Stavreski called upon the pensioners to use the opportunity and to apply for the projects for free spa and weekend holiday in 2016, the deadline for which expires in two days.

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