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RIGA, April 4 (Itar-Tass) — Retirement age will be raised gradually in Latvia to 65 years old from the current 62 years over the period of 2014 through to 2020, Prime Minister Valdis Domrovskis told the Riga-based LNT channel.
He indicated that the government does not have any plans for raising the retirement age beyond 65.
Dombrovskis does not think the retirement age in Latvia will be raised all too fast. He recalled that neighboring Lithuania raises it already this year and the Latvian government will start doing it only as of 2014.
Under the government’s plans, retirement age should be increased by three months in 2014 and 2015, and as of 2016 the annual increases will reach six months.
This means it will reach 65 years by 2020.
The current officially endorsed retirement age is 62 years old.
The country’s biggest opposition force, the Concord Center, which represents the Russian speaking community living in Latvia, has spoken out against such plans. It believes that any decisions on raising the retirement age can be taken only when they are placed on a solid social and economic foundation, the Concord Center says.
The opposition calls for putting the painful reform off for several years, in the course of which reliable social guarantees for people of the elder generations could be ensured. Also, it plans to press for granting earlier retirement schemes to the people employed at hazardous industries, as well as to those who foster disabled children.
On the other flank of the political spectrum, the upward revision of retirement age has been criticized by Juris Jansons, the state ombudsman for human rights.
He said a steep increase of retirement age for the sole purpose of covering the financial deficits of the specialized budget runs counter to Latvia’s Constitution, on the one hand, and undermines the public’s trust in the transparency and stability of the entire national pension system, on the other.