Tibor Benkő, in a video posted on the Ministry of Defense’s Facebook page, described what salaries and fringe benefits “as one of the safest employers in the country” will offer by 2021. He reported, among other things, the continued increase in the salaries of defense personnel, the increase in family support for soldiers, and the support for retired soldiers.
He also pointed out that in addition to caring for military personnel, special attention should be paid to cadets representing future generations, officers and non-commissioned candidates, retired and volunteer reserve soldiers.
The Minister recalled that a 60 percent salary increase was implemented in the Armed Forces from 2015 to 2019. In addition, according to the government’s decision, at the end of 2019, each soldier received HUF 500,000 in recognition of his work. In 2019, the government also decided to provide additional benefits to soldiers equivalent to 6 months ’salary every 3 years. The necessary resources will be allocated in the budget of the Ministry of Defense in a proportionate manner, he said.
He said that in 2020, professional and contract soldiers, as well as the volunteer reserve staff, uniformly received an additional 10 per cent wage supplement, which was not built into their wages, but will continue to receive this amount in 2021.
All soldiers applying for contract service will be paid a contract fee of HUF 100,000 after the conclusion of the contract. Soldiers and defense personnel are provided with family start-up, school-starting and housing, as well as retirement savings contributions, discounted regeneration opportunities and free health screenings, in line with the government’s family policy.
This year, the salary increase of defense personnel – started in 2019, 4 years, 35 percent – will continue. The first 20 per cent of this was received by workers in 2019, while the remaining 15 per cent, broken down over 3 years, is provided at 5-5-5 per cent.
In line with the government’s decision, the wage increase for health workers and educators involved in defense education and military education will be implemented, the minister explained.
Tibor Benkő emphasized that not only can they maintain the previous level of fringe benefits, but from 2021, parents raising children will receive HUF 50,000 in parental support instead of the previous HUF 30,000. In addition, the birth grant for soldiers and defense personnel was more than doubled to HUF 200,000 per child.
The Minister also pointed out that in order to ensure military service with nationwide coverage, it is essential to build a modern housing support system. That is why the repayment support for the housing scheme, which had already been used by more than 2,400 in 2020, has been restructured, he said, adding that I want to continue this trend this year as well. He said housing procedures had also been simplified. They allowed soldiers to continue living in their service properties even after they retired.
Tibor Benkő said: the long-term goal of the Hungarian Armed Forces is to get the apartments they rent into the ownership of the soldiers. Therefore, they are sold to soldiers. The proceeds will be used to support large families and those living in truncated families, the minister said, adding that the so-called housing allowance for renting and leasing would be extended to the crew.
This year, marriage and registered partnership benefits will be introduced, and the supplement for children will also be increased. Thus, in 2021, the support of a soldier supporting a family will increase by HUF 25-35 thousand per month.
The Minister stressed that addressing young people is extremely important. Therefore, they operate 6 different scholarship systems, within the framework of which students can receive scholarships ranging from HUF 8,000 to HUF 130,000 in secondary and higher education, depending on their academic results. The goal is to broaden the scope of beneficiaries as much as possible, he said.
In addition to supporting young people, a key goal is to implement a new approach to the care of retired soldiers, added Tibor Benkő, who put it this way: “military thinking and professionalism do not end with retirement”. The Ministry of Defense therefore continues to count on them because they can help strengthen the relationship between the military and the civilian population, reconcile military virtues, traditions, patriotism and civilian expectations, he said, adding that the decisive role of retired soldiers there is also the management of youth for military careers.
One expression of recognition for retired soldiers is the introduction of obsitos and veteran programs. Through these, in 2021, they will also make available to retired soldiers the benefits that until now were only available to members of the active staff.
The Minister of Defense emphasized that the coronavirus epidemic imposed new tasks on Hungary, the Ministry of Defense and the soldiers. Tibor Benkő thanked the soldiers for the tasks that serve the safety of the Hungarian people and support the work of the police and the health care system, in addition to their basic tasks, in order to ensure the functioning of the country.
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