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Iran lawmakers pass bill raising retirement age for men

By AFP - Nov 21,2023 - Last updated at Nov 21,2023

TEHRAN — Iranian lawmakers have approved legislation raising the retirement age for men to 62 and increasing the years of employment required to qualify for a full pension, state media reported.

The bill, which still requires approval by conservative-dominated vetting body the Guardian Council, aims "to reduce pension fund shortfalls", according to the official IRNA news agency. 

In Sunday's vote in the 290-seat parliament, 127 lawmakers voted in favour, 78 against and eight abstained, with the remainder absent. 

The speaker of parliament, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, said on Monday that male employees would have to work 35 years, instead of 30, before they can retire with a full pension, according to IRNA. 

He said the retirement age for men would be raised from 60 to 62, but for women it would remain at 55.

Labour Minister Solat Mortazavi said the move was necessary to ensure that pension funds could continue to meet its obligations to beneficiaries.

In recent months, several officials have spoken out about severe shortfalls in pension funds, with then labour ministry official Sajjad Padam saying in May that Iran "might be forced to sell" territory to pay pensioners. 

Padam was sacked shortly after his controversial remark.

Iran has been reeling from a crippling economic crisis marked by inflation of around 50 per cent and a sharp depreciation of the rial against the dollar.

The crisis has been aggravated by US sanctions reimposed in 2018 following Washington's withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers. 

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