1.9 mln retirees to see pension increase in January
More than 1.9 million pensioners who retired before Jan. 1, 2000 will receive higher monthly pensions starting from January following a new law to eliminate the discrepancy between the monthly allowances of old and new pensioners.

Minister of Labor and Social Security Faruk Çelik met with reporters on Wednesday in Ankara to share the details of the payment scheme.

The law was approved in Parliament in March, and the government has promised to make the adjustments starting from the beginning of 2013. A long overdue promise that previous governments failed to keep, the new law will see 1 million retirees' pensions increase by between TL 100 and TL 350, whereas the remaining 900,000 will see their pensions raised by less than TL 100. Çelik said that with the law, the pensions of those who retired before 2000 will be made equal to those of people who retired in 2008.

Although the new law makes 1.9 million retirees happy, some critics have maintained that if the government introduces an increase for pensioners, it should address all retirees rather than a particular group of them. They claim it is unfair to pensioners who paid more social security premiums that only those who paid less into the scheme are receiving an increase in their pensions.

Meanwhile, touching upon the workplace safety problems in Turkey, the minister said a new law would be implemented starting from Jan. 1 in a bid to minimize accidents and deaths in workplaces. "A total of 172 workplace-related accidents happen in Turkey on average per day, and three out of these incidents are fatal while six accidents leave workers disabled. … We are working on measures to minimize this as much as possible," he said. Out of 1,000 workers, 17 died due to accidents in workplace in 2002, while this number is eight so far this year.

Turkey's track record on job safety is already bleak: According to data from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Turkey ranked 80th in terms of job safety in 2009. Some blame employers for unsatisfactory safety measures in workplaces, while others accuse the government of failing to fulfill its obligation to uphold the rights of workers with effective legislation.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-12-26 20:00:02
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