Romania may get bill letting women retire earlier

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

Image source, Tara Moore
Image caption,
The draft amendments to Romania's Pensions Act offer women an incentive for giving birth

Romanian mothers may soon be able to retire a number of years earlier, if a draft bill submitted to parliament is approved, it's reported.

According to the Mediafax news agency, MPs from the ruling Social Democratic Party, along with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, have thrown their support behind an amended version of the country's Pensions Act.

The draft document says that women should be able to retire two years early for every child they have over ten years old.

Mediafax says that the bill was introduced because "more and more women who work give up or postpone having a child because of economic considerations".

The agency notes that Romania's fertility rate has dropped to an all-time low, with the number of newborns in the country dropping below 200,000 per year. It says that this effectively means that the country's population is reduced by five Romanians every hour.

The Evenimentul Zilei newspaper says that this may result in "major social problems", affecting the labour market, and health and pension budgets.

The retirement age for women in Romania depends on the year they were born, but for most mothers born after 1955 it is approximately 60. The National House of Public Pensions says that it will reach 63 by 2030.

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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