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Cablegate: Subject: Turkey: Parliament Passes Amended Social Security

VZCZCXRO1817
PP RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #0730 1091245
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181245Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5948
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 4142
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA PRIORITY 2871
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC

UNCLAS ANKARA 000730

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS USTR FOR MMOWREY
TREASURY FOR OASIA
USDOC/ITA/MAC/KNAJDI
DEPT PASS EXIM FOR MARGARET KOSTIC
USDA OSEC FOR DEP U/S TERPSTRA
USDA FAS FOR OA YOST; ITP/SHEIKH; FAA/DEVER

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV ECON BEXP TU
SUBJECT: Subject: Turkey: Parliament Passes Amended Social Security

Reform Law

Ref: Ankara 591

1. (U) Summary: The Turkish Parliament approved an amended version
of the Social Security Reform bill on April 18, after a three-week
debate. The vote was 225 - 55. The bill will become law after
President Gul signs it and it is published in the Official Gazette.


2. (SBU) The Parliament made a number of amendments to the
122-article long bill before the final vote, and it is not yet clear
exactly what provisions were included in the final version. Most of
the key parameters appear to remain the same as reported reftel.
The retirement age remains at 65 and the premium work days stayed at
7,200, according to press reports. Current civil service workers
kept their privileged position over workers and the self-employed,
both in the pension system and health coverage. However, the final
implementation date of the law is delayed, with some provisions
being phased in starting from April, others from July and still
others from October. The law also reportedly provides additional
pension and health coverage benefits to parliamentarians through
more flexible and generous health coverage and a higher replacement
rate, which will result in a higher pension for retired
parliamentarians.

3. (SBU) Passage of the law was one of the requirements to complete
the last two reviews of the IMF stand-by agreement and release the
USD 3.7 billion remaining balance of the stand-by loan. Some
analysts observed that the reformist aspects of the bill were
somewhat diluted compared with the initial version of the bill. IMF
contacts said that they were satisfied with what they understood was
included in the bill, but had not yet been able to make a detailed
review of changes made during the final day of debate.

DEBLAUW

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