Thursday, August 11, 2022

Voting on AHV amendment – raising retirement age: two women – two terms

Monica Barmet and Rebecca Mason were both born in 1961. Along with their vintage, they are the first to be affected by the increase in the retirement age. Nevertheless, they represent different positions.

Your birthday in 2025 is the deadline. The day he retires. Rebecca Mason and Monica Barmet, both born in 1961, have at least assumed that for now. However, if the AHV revision is accepted in September, the date will be pushed back. Then the retirement age of women will gradually increase to 65.

As much as the starting position of both the women is similar, their position is also different. Rebecca Mason thinks the welfare system urgently needs to be secured: “Many AHV amendments have already failed. Mainly because women rejected them.” The manager of Model F, an organization promoting skilled workers, says the new bill will take a long time to be passed in Parliament.

A generation of women doing lots of honorary and voluntary work has now been affected.

Operations nurse Monica Barmett criticizes the amendment. “A generation of women who have done so many honorary and voluntary work has now been affected.” These women would hardly have benefited from additional school childcare. “They only had small jobs and would hardly benefit from a vocational pension.” A higher retirement age would make this generation of women worse, believes Barmet, who represents the center of the cantonal council of Zug. Unlike her party, she rejects the amendment. Barmet is a mother of three children and worked only on call in the OR for long periods of time during the long-term care phase.

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Mason is independent, has three children and takes care of them himself as there was no choice. But she sees it differently: “My generation has fought for opportunities that no one before us had.” This especially applies to the education sector.

Templates aim to bridge the financial gap

According to the Federal Council, AHV would require an additional 18.5 billion CHF over the next 10 years. Two proposals aim to temporarily fill the financial gap: an amendment to the AHV law and a 0.4 percentage point increase in VAT. Both must be accepted, otherwise the modification fails.

Parliament must ensure that the BVG amendment ends discrimination against women and low-wage people.

While Mason has an office job, Barmet’s job in the operating room is also physically demanding. He has to stand for long hours and sometimes lift heavy material. The nurse says it gets harder as you get older. But because it applies to men as well, she does not see it as a central argument against the amendment. More importantly, women still earn less.

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Mason mentors many women who work part-time and can’t count on the professional benefits afterward, known as BVGs. She sees the problem there, not with AHV. “Parliament must ensure that the BVG amendment ends discrimination against women and low-paid people.”

Nearly 600,000 women will have to wait for retirement

The BVG is currently being amended by Parliament. But the process has been delayed, and the State Council will deal with it only in the autumn. So Barmet thinks: “At the moment we don’t know how this process will end. We can’t strike a holistic balance for women.” AHV revision should be postponed until everything is on the table.

With a double yes to the AHV template, Monica Barmett and Rebecca Mason will soon have 599,000 more women waiting longer for their retirement. They belong to the nine transition years – and therefore receive a pension supplement as compensation.

Nation World News Desk
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