The Seimas established a new reference rate for the calculation of social security benefits, titled the minimum consumption rate (MCR). The Seimas also regulated the calculation of MCR and linked MCR to the data in the Social Security Benefits Report. The calculation of the MCR will be based on the prices in the minimum set of food products, average monthly retail prices for food in euro, forecast for average annual inflation rate for the coming September, and data from the Household Budget Survey.
The MCR indicates the amount in euros needed to purchase a minimum of food and non-food items (goods and services) per person per month. The MCR will be applied in establishing the basic sizes of social benefits, social assistance pensions, targeted compensations, and state-supported income.
The MCR for 2017 amounts to EUR 238. The Law provides for the calculation of the MCR for the following calendar year by rounding up to the nearest euro. The MCR will be annually calculated by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and approved by the Minister of Social Security and Labour by 31 December.
The Law establishes the minimum sizes of social benefits in relation to the MCR of the previous year. Thus, the basic social benefit will be at least 16 % of the MCR of the previous year, the basic social assistance pension will be at least 54 %, the basic targeted compensation size will be at least 47 %, and the state-supported income will be at least 50 % of the MCR of the previous year. These arrangements will enter into force on 1 January 2019.
The basic state pension will not exceed the size of the state social insurance basic pension.
The basic rates for social benefits, social assistance pensions, targeted compensations, state-supported income and state pensions will be approved by the Government.