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  December 20, 2014 

Rodina Sydney - the Bulgarian Community and Culture Association

The Bulgarian Community in Sydney

The Bulgarian Community and Culture Association "Rodina" is the focal point for Bulgarians and the Bulgarian culture in Sydney and New South Wales.  We organise regular BBQs, dances and social events as well as support the Bulgarian School in Sydney.  Our community includes people with Bulgarian heritage, partners of Bulgarians and people interested in the Bulgarian Culture.  As part of Multi-Cultural Australia we aim to contribute and enrich its diverse culture.  We also provide orientation and help for Bulgarians newly arrived in Sydney and New South Wales.

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Parliament Passes Pension Insurance Changes amid Bitter Disputes
Saturday, 20th December 2014

Bulgarian lawmakers have narrowly approved changes to the pension system comprising various aspects of pension insurance.

Legislative amendments were passed with the votes of the main ruling party Citizens for European Development in Bulgaria (GERB), the third-largest electoral force Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and part of Bulgarian Democratic Center (BDC) MPs. 

According to the proposed changes, people entering the labor market for the first time will have the right to choose, but it will be a one-off privilege.

If one chooses to contribute to National Insurance Fund (NOI) then it will be not possible to switch to a private pension fund, while this change is possible if contributions are made to a universal pension fund.

Another proposal envisaged that those born after 1959 who already have opted to make their contributions to a private pension fund will have to reaffirm their choice within a short period of time, otherwise their contributions will be automatically transferred to the solidarity fund of the National Insurance Fund NOI.

The Reformist Bloc (RB), GERB's senior coalition partner, has accused lawmakers of "making use" of the absence of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (the de-facto backbone of GERB), who is currently in Brussels for a European Council Meeting, to rush through the legislation.

Socialists, who are now in opposition, have for their part alleged that GERB is in a tacit alliance with the DPS, a partner to the socialists in the former elected government often blamed for the previous cabinet's resignation. 

The two basic coalition partners have repeatedly clashed over the pension-system reform in the past few days, with the RB fervently objecting to most of the proposals. 

Reformists have even warned the move could potentially put the coalition in jeopardy.

The other government-related party, left-wing Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV), which also has a minister in the government, is not supportive of the draft legislation.

Social Minister Ivaylo Kalfin, from ABV, even declared "one could not work like that" after the vote, claiming GERB MPs were approaching the issue as if they were discussing "one's personal budget".



Bulgaria MPs Move to Hike Maximum Insurable Earnings
Saturday, 20th December 2014

Lawmakers have moved to increase maximum insurable earnings to BGN 2600 M, up from 2400 M envisaged in the current legislation.

Their decision follows hours of debates, motions and dubious signals in the plenary hall, with the main ruling party GERB first submitting a proposal to keep the current threshold in force and then withdrawing it after Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva said maintaining the current level would constitute a "procedural violation".

Maximum insurable earnings are the upper threshold which could serve as a base of insurance contributions, with pensions of employees earning higher salaries being calculated according to that sum.

The entire voting procedure was accompanied by what members of Parliament described as "violations", and a number of Bulgarian media outlets called the motion "a gaffe."



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About Us

The Bulgarian Cultural and Social Association "Rodina" promotes Bulgarian culture, traditions and language among the Bulgarian community in NSW.  For over 30 years we have been fostering knowledge and understanding about the Bulgarian culture and history by organising social events, forums, exhibitions, performances and other public initiatives.  We seek to strengthen the social, economic, educational and cultural ties between Australia and Bulgaria.  Therefore, maintaining a close relationship with Australian organisations and institutions in Australia is of significant importance to us.  As part of Multi-Cultural Australia we aim to contribute and enrich its diverse culture.  Rodina collaborates and co-operates with other Bulgarian and cultural organisations in Australia.