“Others get money just like that, and you work for 40 years, give birth to five children for the state, and what is left in the end? Nothing. It’s good that I raised good children who will take care of me,” said 72-year-old Eva from Ostrava.
Eva, 72, expected to receive 2,500 CZK for her five children, 500 for each of them. According to the law, the allowance for grown children from January is part of the pension. But her account received less than 700 crowns. Eva lived in the past both in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, and gave birth to her children during the time of a single state. According to the authorities, several thousand older people had their child-rearing benefits cut because of their Czechoslovak past.
“I have a low Czech pension, so I thought: ‘I have five children, so I will get two and a half thousand,’ but it didn’t work,” says 72-year-old Eva from Ostrava. Her pension consists of Czech and Slovak parts, which together amount to just over 12,000 crowns.
The Czech state started paying pensions at the beginning of this year. Eva hoped for a raise, but received only 678 crowns.
She also has a Czech husband. Otherwise, she said, she might not survive. Under current rules, her child benefit is reduced by the same amount as her pension.
“Since she is only entitled to 27% of her Czech pension, she is only entitled to 27% of the child-rearing allowance, i.e. 678 crowns. During the rest of the insurance period, a woman is entitled to a pension from the Slovak system, which is calculated according to the rules existing there,” explains Jakub Augusta, spokesman for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Each of the successor states of Czechoslovakia goes its own way. Slovakia also introduced its own form of education allowance this year. “The parental pension will be paid in one amount throughout 2023, and from 2024 it will be paid regularly, monthly,” says Martin Kontur, spokesman for the Slovak State Social Insurance Institution.
This is only partly good news for Eve. One of her daughters lives and works in Slovakia, and she earns around 500 crowns a month for her. Even if she adds up payments from both countries, it is still a long way from the full amount of the Czech child support option.