ANO Challenges Government’s Pension Plans at Constitutional Court
ANO’s Alena Schillerova submitted the party’s complaint at the Brno court this morning. Credit: Aleš Ležatka / usoud.cz.
Brno, Nov 1 (CTK) – The opposition ANO filed a motion with the Czech Constitutional Court today, seeking to annul the stricter conditions for early retirement in the government’s pension amendment, according to the party’s parliamentary group head Alena Schillerova.
ANO primarily objects to the key transitional period of 13 months being dropped during the legislative process, although it was included in the government’s original draft, said Schillerova when submitting the motion in Brno today.
ANO proposes that the part of the pension law about pension insurance be abolished, as it does not include the 13-month transitional period.
“The basic reason is that new conditions for early pensions are being introduced without any transitional period,” Schillerova said. “When this draft was approved by the government, the 13-month transitional period was there. There was a period when citizens could decide to retire early within that limit of five years before being entitled to a regular pension.” When someone wants to retire earlier, this decision takes months, if not years, she added.
ANO argues that an immediate change in the conditions for early retirement without an adequate transitional period will lead to an unacceptable inequality between people born before 30 September and those born after 1 October, who suddenly became ineligible after the amendment took effect, although they had previously met the conditions.
ANO also claims that the ruling coalition has violated democratic principles and the Chamber of Deputies rules of procedure by pushing through a fixed voting time. When the debate in the Chamber ended, 36 deputies were still registered to speak. The party said that in a democratic state governed by the rule of law, the minority must be able to express its opinion, participate in the debate and thus fulfil its role of scrutinising the ruling majority.
Constitutional Court spokeswoman Kamila Abbasi told CTK that the court had accepted the motion by a group of 71 MPs, including a proposal for its priority proceeding under article 39 of the Constitutional Court law. She added that the judge rapporteur for this case would probably be known on Monday.
Schillerova said ANO were also considering challenging the government consolidation package in the Constitutional court, both because of the approval procedure in the Chamber of Deputies and some retroactive provisions embedded in it.
The pension amendment shortens the possibility of early retirement from five to three years as of October, and reduces the sum received, while the merit part of the pension will not be indexed until the regular retirement age. A year later, the minimum period of social insurance payments will be extended by five years to 40 years.
Labour and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) says the government and his office announced the main parameters of the pension changes in the spring.
The government originally planned the changes to take effect as of September. However, President Petr Pavel said in late August that he had reservations about the pension bill and would decide whether to veto it or sign it later. He signed it on 1 September, so it only took effect the following month.