Swedish govt raises benefits for its poorest pensioners

Published: February 01, 2019 14:26:25 | Updated: February 02, 2019 15:42:37

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The Swedish government has announced that it would invest an extra 2.1 billion SEK (232 million US dollars) annually to increase security for pensioners who "have it the toughest".

"We want to give all guarantee pensioners an extra SEK 200 (22.10 US dollars) per month and greatly increase the ceiling in the housing supplement for pensioners," said a press release issued on Thursday.

The release, quoted Social Insurance Minister Annika Strandhall, said that around 800,000 pensioners would be benefited from the raise, reports Xinhua.

"Guarantee pensioners" are those whose only income is the government pension - mostly people who worked full-time in basic occupations like truck driving, nursing or kindergarten teaching.

The increased benefits will also affect pensioners living off their own income pension. The proposal is based on the principle that the system should reward people for working.

Housing supplements will also be raised as part of the deal. Income testing for the housing supplement has changed in order to reflect the current housing market so that money is directed to those most in need.

"The differences in income between pensioners who have the lowest incomes and others in society have increased for a long time," explained the government in the press release, adding that the increase was proposed "in order to disrupt this development." (1 US dollar = 9.05 SEK)

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