Chamber of Deputies passes Pension Law amid scandal

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The Chamber of Deputies (Romanian Parliament’s lower chamber) has passed on Wednesday another controversial law, the public pension laws, which had been re-examined after the Constitutional Court had declared it unconstitutional.

The law has been voted despite the Opposition parties’ criticism, by 197 votes in favour, 70 abstentions and no vote against.

The law that stipulates the pension point increase should be enforced as of September 1.

However, USR deputy Cristian Seidler has accused the ruling coalition of „extorting votes from pensioners” and of „not getting enough with special pensions”.

Last week, the Senate had rejected the draft bill initiated by PNL, which provided the elimination of special pensions for deputies, senators, judges and prosecutors.

Also last Wednesday, the law on the public pension system, re-examined after the Constitutional Court ruled it is unconstitutional, had been rejected by the Senate, after failing to get the needed votes.

The public pension law stipulates the pension point will gradually increase, starting September 1, 2019 and ending on September 1, 2021.

The values of the pension point are as following:

-from September 1, 2019- RON 1,265
-from September, 2020- RON 1,775
-from September 1, 2021- RON 1,875

 

The value of pensions point is currently RON 75. The laws also says that, starting 2022, the value of the reference point is increasing annually along with the annual inflation rate, to which is added 50 per cent of the real increase of the gross salary income.

As for the retirement age, the law says it is 65 years old for men and 63yo for women. The minimum retirement contributions is 15 years, both for men and women, while the complete retirement contributions is 35 years, both for men and women.

The pension law should not say that the pension is paid by the employer. It is the state’s duty to ensure that all due taxes are paid. The pension law is putting employees in the position of being deprived by the right to pensions”, said Liberal deputy Valeria Schelean.

In his turn, Cristian Seidler, USR, stated: “You cannot pretend to reform the public pension system, but to keep special pensions. You don’t get enough with special pensions!”.

UDMR deputy Eva Csep pointed out that the article re-examined today upon the CCR’s request was an amendment filed by UDMR, which referred to the disabled people. “You cannot save money at the expense of people in need, of people with disabilities”, she argued.

PMP MP Marius Pascan said that his party agrees to the salary and pension increased so that Romanian should live well, but noted that “so far PSD has managed to create serious inequities, by setting up new categories of privileged people, who had got more and more by special pensions”.

In retort to the opposition’s criticism, former Labour minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu (PSD), who masterminded the pension law, stated: “I got it, it’s wrong to give money for pensions and salaries because it is considered populism. We are the only government that capped special pensions in July 2017, and that cost us at the elections”.

 

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