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MPs regain their special pensions

The Constitutional Court of Romania declared the law eliminating the special pensions of members of parliament unconstitutional

MPs regain their special pensions
MPs regain their special pensions

, 06.05.2022, 13:50

The Constitutional Court declared
unconstitutional the law whereby the special pensions of MPs were eliminated.
Court judges did not discuss the merits of the law, but merely ruled against
the procedure whereby the bill was passed. Although it was not officially
launched, the bill was swiftly passed through Parliament, in a single day,
which would allegedly impact the democratic character of the state, the Court
argued. The ruling follows after 70 former MPs who lost their special rights
regained them in court in several tribunals across the country. In February
2021, Parliament adopted the bill tabled by PSD on the elimination of special
pensions for senators and deputies, to the detriment of another two similar
initiatives submitted by PNL and USR. The only party that abstained at the time
was UDMR, which labeled the bill a populist and contentious law, saying that
all special pensions should be eliminated.

The Social Democrats reacted to the
Court’s ruling, reiterating their support for the original bill, adding they
would table the bill as many times as the Court deems it necessary. In turn,
USR believes the ruling is a shameful blow given to all Romanians who need a
lifetime of honest work to contribute to the pension system and who strive to
make ends meet. USR says it awaits the motivation of the Court, considering
that at the time the bill was passed, the Ombudsman identified no elements of
unconstitutionality.

Approximately 820 former MPs who benefited from these
special pensions before will receive their financial rights for the last 15
months, during which time payments had been suspended. The list includes former
Prime Ministers Adrian Năstase, Petre Roman or Teodor Stolojan. Additionally, a
number of Constitutional Court judges also received the special pensions,
including the current Court president, Valer Dorneanu. The special pension
received by a Romanian member of parliament ranges between 400 Euro, for short
terms over 1990-1992, after the collapse of the communist regime, and as much
as 2,400 Euro for MPs who served three times. Approximately 10,000 people
benefit from special pensions, half of whom are magistrates, according to the
National Pension Authority. These pensions add to those received by military,
policemen, secret service employees, whose special allowances are paid by the
Ministries of Defense and the Interior. 4,452 judges and prosecutors receive
special pensions, the highest of which stands at some 4,000 Euro. (VP)



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