The members of the Seimas asked to examine whether Article 23 of the Constitution, the constitutional principle of proportionality, is not contrary to Article 4, paragraph 8, of the law on the accumulation of pensions insofar as it does not provide for cessation of pension accumulation as only one of the methods of cessation of pension accrual, and Article 5 insofar as it does not establish a participant’s right to a pension fund of terminate participation in building up the pension.
The members of the Seimas are also asked to consider whether Article 29 of the law on the capitalization of pensions is not contrary to Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, insofar as it stipulates that different types of pension benefits may be paid to pension fund participants, taking into account the retirement assets accumulated in the pension fund on their behalf.
As noted in the TB report, the same decision referred the claimants to their request to investigate whether the provision of section 8, part 1 of the Pension Accumulation Act, according to which the contributions of pension are paid from the state budget for participants in the pension fund, does not contradict the constitutional principles of social solidarity, the rule of law and justice.
The declaration of the members of the Seimas states that there is no possibility of withdrawing from the accumulation of pensions in the pension funds, and this provision is based on the 2012 decision of the Constitutional Court. June 29 in accordance with the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine formulated in the judgment, that although the funds for old-age pensions accumulated in the pension funds cannot be equated with the accumulated pension (benefits payable), the amount of which also depends from the results of the activity (among other things, investments) of economic entities that administer pension funds, the person the right to funds already accumulated in these funds is associated with the protection of his property rights. The property aspects of this right are protected in accordance with Article 23 of the Constitution.
In the statement, the members of the Seimas state, among other things, that a person’s right to dispose of property is limited by the disputed legal regulation insofar as the person cannot make any independent decision. According to the applicants, the fact that a participant in a pension fund can use the right to suspend participation in the capitalization of pensions for up to 12 months, the right to change pension capitalization company or capitalization fund pensions of the target group, cannot be considered as guaranteeing the individual’s right to freely dispose of his property.
Basing their doubts on compliance with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, the petitioners maintain that such a legal regulation violates the constitutional principle of equality of persons, since there are no differences between these persons which would objectively justify a such differentiated legal regulation. Based on official constitutional doctrine, according to which the pension benefit awarded to a person is protected and in accordance with Article 23 of the Constitution, the declaration clarifies that due to legal uncertainty and the possibility of collecting a diminishing retirement benefit, the disputed settlement law violates Section 23 of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court declared that these parts of the request were based on legal arguments and accepted that they be examined by the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court, referring the request for assessment of the constitutionality of Article 8, Part 1, of the law on the capitalization of pensions insofar as it stipulates that pension contributions are paid from the state budget for the participants in the pension fund, pointed out that the applicants had not substantiated their doubts as to compliance with the constitutional requirements of social solidarity, the rule of law and the principles of justice.
It is not clear from the petitioners’ request why the legislature, as stated in the declaration itself, having wide discretion to choose the pension system in accordance with the Constitution, could not establish in law such an incentive for all persons participating in pension accrual to participate in pension accrual, as provided for in the disputed section 8 part 1 of the Pension Accumulation Act. In their request, the applicants did not explain why the legal regulation chosen, when the State contributes to the accumulation of pensions in pension funds, distorts the model of social solidarity of the State.
In its decision, the Constitutional Court recalled that the dismissal of the request does not remove the right to seize the Constitutional Court in the general procedure, once the deficiencies have been eliminated.
Source: The Delfi