PM Nečas defends pension reform

Prime Minister Petr Nečas defended the government’s pension reform on Tuesday urging more people to join the so-called second pillar, thereby putting part of their pension funds into private insurance companies. He said that in view of the aging population the only alternatives to a pension reform would be to increase taxes or cut pensions by a third. He said the second pillar of the government’s pension insurance scheme was advantageous to approximately half the working population, rather than just high income groups. Czechs have proved wary of putting their money into private insurance companies, with only 31,000 people joining the second pillar in the past four months. The government had hoped to see half a million people join by the end of June.