POLITICS

Pension Law clears Parliament

On Wednesday, Deputies’ Chamber adopted the Pension Law, after the deputies accepted in the Tuesday’s plenary session an amendment filed by UDMR which was initially rejected by the Labor Committee, providing that those having a severe disability have the right to retire after completing one third of the full contribution period.

The draft law was voted with 193 “pros”, one “con” and 14 abstentions. There were four deputies who didn’t exert their right to vote.

In the Tuesday’s plenary session, deputies adopted an amendment filed by UDMR which was rejected by the Labor Committee, providing that those having a severe disability have the right to retire after completing one third of the full contribution period.

“Pensioners – the person who benefits from one of the pension categories provided by this law and who have completed at least the 15-year minimum contribution period, as well as the persons classified as persons with a severe disability who have completed one third of the full contribution period”, reads the amendment brought by UDMR to Article 3 of the draft Pension Law.

The form of Article 3 adopted by the Committee was stating: “Pensioners – the person who benefits from one of the pension categories provided by this law and who have completed at least the 15-year minimum contribution period, as well as blind persons who have completed one third of the full contribution period”.

Also, to be correlated to Article 3, Article 52 was amended as follows: “People who have completed a contribution period during a pre-existing disability condition in relation to the quality  of an insured person, benefit from the reduction of the standard ages for retirement provided by Annex no.5, depending on their disability degree as proved with a certificate establishing the level and type of disability, as follows: a) regardless of their age, if they have completed at least one third of the full contribution period as a person with a severe disability”.

MP Eva-Andrea Csep announced at the Tuesday’s plenary session that the remaining amendments filed by UDMR on the pensions for disabled people will be included in a special law to be filed in parliament as soon as possible.

“We will continue to support the amendments formulated in the matter of the pensions for disabled people, despite the promise that the law on the social indemnities, which will cover this category of beneficiaries, will be submitted to the Parliament as soon as possible. We cannot impose a 15-year minimum contribution period for the pensions of the disabled people.  It’s not fair to them. We commit ourselves that we will work on a draft law that offers protection to this category of people, if the promised law on the social indemnity will not appear urgently”, the UDMR MP Andrea Csep stated.

She said that in the end, the Pension Law is “an acceptable law”.

“We must admit that the draft law which is in the plenum today is drafted in a much more acceptable form than the form submitted to the Parliament. It is unacceptable and inadmissible that granting a privilege package to a pensioner category is at the disadvantage of the pensioners in another category. More specifically, if most of the pensioners will benefit from a significant growth of their old-age pensions, it cannot result from diminishing the pensions of the disabled persons. Yes, the pensions will grow, but what happens to the people who have totally or partially lost their work capacity as a result of an accident or a disease, and they couldn’t complete a 15-year minimum contribution period? I tell you, a disaster will happen. No one thought to these people until the UDMR group didn’t impose this issue. They say there will be a law on the social indemnity, we don’t know when, which will include all those persons and all those cases in which the minimum contribution period couldn’t be reached, a law that will provide certain social indemnities for those categories of people. However, we can say this is an acceptable draft law”, the UDMR MP stated.

The MP of the Democrat Alliance of Hungarians in Romania added that the parliamentary majority promised that the UDMR amendment providing the inclusion in the assimilated period to the accommodation leave for the adoptive mothers will be taken over by an adoption law.

The former Labor Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu also reiterated, in the Tuesday plenum, that the pension point will double during the PSD-ALDE term, and not after 2021, as it was circulated in the public space.

“We are in front of the most important draft law in 2018, which concerns not only more than 5 million pensioners, but also the coming generations. The most important principle of this law is the contribution level, but we also aimed at excluding some inequities, such as different pensions for same-sex people. One thing I want to emphasize is that the pension point will double during our term, not after 2021, as it was circulated in the public space. In 2020, during our term, the pension point will be RON 1,775”, Olguta Vasilescu stated during the debates at the Deputies’ Chamber plenary session on the Pension Law.

Last week, after a meeting that lasted more than seven hours, the Labor Committee of the Deputies’ Chamber adopted an admission report with amendments on the draft Pension Law. There were 14 “pros”, 5 “cons” and one abstention.

One of the amendments brought in the Committee is the reduction of the minimum contribution period also for the women who have adopted children.

“The reduction of the retirement age provided by par. 1 and 2 is also applicable if the number of children includes adopted children, too”, reads the amendment brought to Article 56 of the law.

Another important amendment adopted by the specialized committee is regarding the contribution period for the Romanians who want to buy length of work to be able to retire.

“Any person who have completed the up to 15-year minimum contribution period, but not less than 10 years, can be insured in the public pension system based on a social insurance agreement. A social insurance agreement can be concluded in the public pension system also for maximum periods of 5 years prior to the month in which the agreement is concluded, in which the person hasn’t completed a contribution period in the public pension system”, states the adopted article.

The Committee removed the amendment submitted by the PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea by which the period in which the insured person has attended the classes of a vocational school, was introduced in the assimilated period to the contribution period.

The draft law provides that the Pension Law will come into force in September 2019.

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