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Alternate member of the Riigikogu Ülle Rajasalu took the oath of office.

Minister of Social Affairs Marko Pomerants replied to the interpellation (No. 139) concerning the increase in pensions, submitted on 16 February by nine members of the Estonian Centre Party Faction.

Mr. Pomerants explained the principles of the pension system and stressed that the creation of the funded pensions system did not change the state?s responsibility for present pensioners. The pensioners have still the right to receive the state pension determined by law, regardless of the fact that a certain amount of the pension insurance part of social tax is transferred to the funded pension system. Since the year 2002 the increase in state pensions depends on index. Besides, the present Government has decided to further raise the pensions by EEK 100 in the years 2004-2006. For fulfilling that obligation, in case of insufficiency of the state pension reserve, other means should be found, such as the Stabilisation Reserve Fund, loans or else, to cover it from other state budget revenues. ?If there is a shortfall in a specific year, the resolution on covering the deficit will also be passed together with the passage of the state budget for that specific year,? the Minister of Social Affairs stated.

The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at: http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/plsql/stenograms.form

The Riigikogu Press Service

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