the walk to The ATMs in Pristina delivered Bahri Sheholli (65) last week, the joyful certainty: His first AHV pension is finally here. 895 euros – the equivalent of 981 Swiss francs was paid by the Swiss compensation office to the pensioner. “I’m very relieved,” he says. “I can finally pay my debt back.”
Sheholli is not the Only one who is happy these days when looking at the account balance. Since 2010, Switzerland has social terminated the insurance agreement with Kosovo, had received no AHV and IV pensions more in the young Balkan state. Kosovars who have paid as Sheholli for decades in Switzerland, worked and AHV contributions received not a cent. Only those who remained in Switzerland, was still entitled to the pension.
That all changed now. In the summer, the Parliament gave the green light for a new edition of the agreement (VIEW reported). Since the beginning of the month it is in force, and the first pensions will be paid.
“It was a strain”
“I was very happy when I learned about it,” said Bahrije Ramiqi (48), whose husband had worked for almost five decades in Switzerland. Also, the retired Ali Aliu (66) is happy. Him and other pensioners had visited the VIEW prior to the Parliament’s decision in their homeland.
Since then, he had traveled for the submission of the application three times from his home in Blaq in the South of Kosovo to Pristina, tells the health of ailing Aliu three months later. A distance of over 100 kilometres each way.
Because automatically the pensions are not paid out. “It was a strain, from us as many of the documents claim,” says a Pensioner Mina Hasani (68). The pensioners, with a VIEW to stand in contact, complain, moreover, about the information policy of the authorities of both States.
After the submission of the required documents, you’ve heard in weeks, told the widow Djuzide Gavazaj (83). Her husband, Faik had come in 1981 alone, in Switzerland, where he earned as a Mason his money. When he died in 2011, remained his wife because of the termination of the agreement, not even the widow’s pension of 579 francs. This may here be a little. But in Kosovo, the amount equivalent to one month’s average wage.
Only a few Hundred applications
Many of the affected pensioners have only heard of the trade Union Unia or of the country people, that they suddenly have the right to a pension. The Federal social insurance office (BSV) was limited to the media release on the decision and an information leaflet in Albanian and Serbian on its website.
many of those Affected are in their old age and have, at most, about their Relatives with access to the Internet. The BSV says only: “The news about the agreement are, according to experience, the Kosovar nationals, both in Switzerland as well as in Kosovo quickly.”
A look at the Numbers raises doubts about that. Just about 60 Kosovars have so far made an application for pension under the AHV. Added to this are 135 people who had previously received an IV-pension, which is now replaced by a significantly higher AHV pension. Around 200 applications will be examined according to the BSV also currently. Although the Numbers are difficult to categorize, because it is unknown how many Kosovars are generally impacted by the pension decision. It should, however, be much more.
“I have not lost my hope”
“that makes Us the information gap for the affected beneficiary Concerns,” said Osman Osmani (61) of the Unia. “The people are lost,” he says. For weeks, the people Concerned and their relatives would report issues with the Union. “You don’t tell them that you know what to do everything, and no matter what municipality you live in, you need to travel for information and registration to Pristina,” said Osmani. It need not necessarily be a “large-scale information campaign”.
The Union also criticized the decision of the Federal violent, and pensions only in the future, but not retroactive to repay. It goes on to million. Alone widow Gavazaj would have had in the past eight years, claim to over 50’000 Swiss francs. In the case of Bahri Sheholli, had escaped in 1990 in Switzerland, it is around 10’000 Swiss francs. He firmly believes that this money can get out of ATMs in Pristina draw. “I have not lost hope that States will find a solution.”