Czech Citizens Call for Major Changes to Pension System, But Oppose Retirement Age Increase

A recent poll conducted by Kantar and released by Czech Television has revealed that a significant majority of Czech citizens believe that the country’s pension system requires substantial changes to ensure its long-term sustainability. However, the same poll also indicated strong opposition to raising the retirement age.

The survey found that 70% of the public agrees on the need for a significant intervention in the pension system, although there is less consensus regarding the specific measures that should be implemented. Roughly three-fifths of respondents support an increase in insurance payments for self-employed individuals, while half of the participants back stricter conditions for early retirement. In addition, two-fifths of those surveyed agree with the notion of lower new pensions and emphasize the importance of individuals saving more for their old age.

Surprisingly, only 30% of respondents support the proposal put forth by Labor Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) to link the retirement age to life expectancy. This particular suggestion proved to be the least popular, with 68% of participants expressing opposition.

The proposed amendment to the pension law encompasses several changes, including a slowdown in pension indexation and stricter criteria for early retirement. Jurecka has stated that these measures aim to prevent a collapse of the pension system and reduce the associated debt burden. In conjunction with the pension reform, the coalition government of Petr Fiala (ODS) has also introduced a package designed to consolidate public finances.

Among the government’s proposed measures, the majority of citizens (80%) expressed support for higher taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Furthermore, more than two-thirds (69%) agreed with the proposition of increased taxation on above-average incomes, while 55% favored raising the tax burden on corporate profits. However, there was less enthusiasm for changes to value-added tax (VAT) rates, with only a minority of respondents in favor, and just three in ten individuals supported an increase in real estate taxes.

The poll, which gathered opinions from approximately 1,200 individuals, was conducted between May 15 and June 2. The results highlight the public’s recognition of the need for pension system reform while shedding light on the specific measures that enjoy greater or lesser support among Czech citizens. These findings provide valuable insights for policymakers as they consider the future of the country’s pension system and broader fiscal reforms.

Article by Prague Forum

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