Natisni vsebino

Ombudsman Challenges Pension Cuts in Constitutional Court

20.07.2012 14:23
Category: work and news

Ljubljana, 19 July (STA) - Human Rights Ombudsman Zdenka Čebašek Travnik requested on Thursday a constitutional review of provisions of the act on the balancing of public finances that cut about 26,000 pensions which are covered from the budget. The request is based on some 160 demands by trade unions, pensioners' associations and individual pensioners.

Čebašek Travnik wants the Constitutional Court to stay the implementation of the provisions of Article 143 of the act and expects the judges to treat the matter as a priority, she told the press.

The challenged provisions limit the pensioners' right to an annual bonus and cut pensions funded by the state budget, capping them at EUR 1,450.

The ombudsman's motion says that the act was not passed in line with the Constitution and that it violates human dignity and the principles of clarity and specificity.

The request also states that the bill violates the right to social security and pension, the principle of equality before the law, and the prohibition of discrimination.

Moreover, the National Assembly failed to wait a year after a similar act was rejected in a referendum, according to Deputy Ombudsman Jernej Rovšek.

The ombudsman moreover said that a systemic solution is in the hands of the government and the National Assembly, as they can change the act before the Constitutional Court rules on the matter.

Deputy Ombudsman Tone Dolčič added that the people were poorly informed about the pension cuts. The Pension and Disability Fund (ZPIZ) issued only informal letters to pensioners when imposing the cuts.

But ZPIZ was advised earlier this week by the Constitutional Court to issue formal administrative decisions to which pensioners will be able to appeal. According to Dolčič's information, ZPIZ will obey the court's recommendation.

Čebašek Travnik advised the pensioners not to wait for the Constitutional Court's decision but only for the formal decisions from ZPIZ.

The Court has already rejected two requests for a constitutional review of Article 143 of the act on the balancing of public finances.

One was filed by trade unions, whose request was thrown out, as the law stipulates that trade unions may only demand a constitutional review if the rights of workers are at stake.

The other request was submitted by a pensioner, who wanted to challenge the informal information letters from ZPIZ based on article 143 and the article itself. The court rejected the request for the review and advised ZPIZ to start issuing formal administrative decisions.

The ombudsman has already requested a constitutional review of provisions dealing with retirement conditions aimed at pensioning off public employees meeting the criteria for retirement.

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