In May of this year, the Romanian Constitutional Court ruled that the law by which parliamentarians’ special pensions were annulled violates the Constitution. This is how all former parliamentarians began to collect special pensions again. Some of them applied for special pensions in court, and after the decision of the Constitutional Court they managed to recover them retroactively. Among them is the longest-serving parliamentarian, Ioan Oltean.
In the spring of last year, more precisely in April, 7 former parliamentarians from Bistrița-Năsăud joined forces and sued the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The secretaries of the two structures were also sued.
They demanded back their special pensions, without which they suddenly and suddenly left behind a legislative project. For each parliamentary term, 2,000 lei were received per month. The largest special pansie exceeds 12,000 lei per month. Without this privilege, no less than 768 former parliamentarians remained at the beginning of last year.
Among those who decided to apply for a comfortable pension in court are the longest-serving parliamentarian, Ioan Oltean, which ended its work in Parliament after more than 20 years and 6 mandates. He said in a TV show that his special pension reached 10,000 lei per month.
We also find on the list Ioan Ţintean, who caught a mandate of deputy from PNL. He was also head of the Bistrițian Finances, but also vice-president of the Bistrița-Năsăud County Council.
lesser-known parliamentarians who received comfortable pensions
He allied with Oltean and Ţintean and Ioan Sonea, who had three deputies’ mandates and collected almost 10,000 lei. He was elected deputy in 1992 on the PUNR lists, being re-elected in 1996 and 2000. On the list we also find Emil Rus, who caught a deputy’s mandate in 2000 on the PRM lists.
Former PUNR senator in the 1992-1996 legislature, Viorel Ilișiu allied with the parliamentarians in the court action. On the list we also find Viorel Pupeză, the former president of PSD BN, who caught a single deputy mandate. Emil Scurtu, the former director of APIA, also applied for a special pension in court. He was senator in the 1992-1996 legislature, on the PDAR lists.
Special pensions were introduced in 2015, the reasoning being that parliamentarians do not contribute to pensions and therefore are not recognized for that period when they retire. Former parliamentarians enjoyed only 5 years of this revenue, with special pensions being repealed last year, starting in February. At the national level, more than 100 former parliamentarians have applied for special pensions in court.
The RCC returned the special pensions to the parliamentarians
The Bistrița-Năsăud Tribunal, where this case is judged, stood in stand-by, until the Constitutional Court ruled in this case. The decision of the Constitutional Court came in May this year.
The Constitutional Court has decided that the manner in which the law was approved violates art. 76 para. (3) of the Constitution. Magistrates say that “it is a constitutional requirement that the shortening of procedural deadlines and the acceleration of the legislative path be carried out only within the emergency procedure art. 76 para. (3) and not the general one art. 75. ” Basically, the judges of the Constitutional Court say that the law was adopted in the general procedure in one day, in violation of all deadlines.
The law provided for the cessation of the payment of old-age allowances granted based on the provisions of art. 49 of Law 96/2006 on the status of senators and deputies. Parliament’s plenary adopted on 17 February 2021, with 357 votes in favor and 30 abstentions, the repeal of the special pensions of senators and deputies.
Once the law was declared unconstitutional, parliamentarians’ special pensions returned to payment immediately. The decision of the Constitutional Court has also become an “law source” in all cases pending before the courts, in which the former parliamentarians sued the Legislature for cutting their special pension.
Even if similar cases have already been resolved by the courts, the victims can lodge an extraordinary appeal in order to regain their rights. The decision of the Constitutional Court was published in the Official Gazette of Romania on June 10, and with its publication, it becomes operational and mandatory.
Bistrița-Năsăud Court waited quietly for the CCR decision
The judges from the Bistrița-Năsăud Tribunal waited for the CCR decision, and last year, in the autumn, they suspended the trial, pending the decision of the Romanian Constitutional Court.
„Bursuant to art. 29 para. 4 of Law no. 47/1992 republished, orders the notification of the Constitutional Court of Romania except for the unconstitutionality of Law no. 7 / 2021 in its entirety. Based on art. 413 para. 1 pt. 1 Code of civil procedure suspends the trial of the case until the publication in the Official Gazette of Romania of the decision by which the Constitutional Court of Romania will resolve the exception of unconstitutionality invoked by the applicants in this case ”, it was the decision of the Bistrian judges in September last year.
In the autumn of this year, the Bistrița-Năsăud Tribunal came with a decision in this case, after several postponements of the pronunciation. As expected, the Tribunal ruled in favor of former parliamentarians. Furthermore, the court decided that they should receive special and retroactive pensions and during the period in which the law repealing these benefits was in force:
“Admit in part the civil action brought by the applicants, O.I., P.V., R.E., S.I., Ţ.I. against the defendants P.R. – C.D. and S.G.C.D. and consequently: – cancels Order no.924 / 02.03.2021 issued by the Romanian Parliament-Chamber of Romanian Deputies on the cessation of the payment of the old-age allowance regarding the applicant O.I. as illegal; – cancels Order no.820/10.03.2021 issued by the Romanian Parliament-Chamber of Romanian Deputies on the cessation of the payment of the old-age allowance regarding the plaintiff P.V. as illegal; – cancels Order no. 835/10.03.2021 issued by the Romanian Parliament-Chamber of Romanian Deputies on the cessation of the payment of the old-age allowance regarding the applicant R.E. as illegal; – cancels Order no. 736/10.03.2021 issued by the Romanian Parliament-Chamber of Romanian Deputies on the cessation of the payment of the old-age allowance regarding the applicant S.I. as illegal; – cancels Order no. 890/10.03.2021 issued by the Romanian Parliament-Camera of the Romanian Deputies regarding the cessation of the payment of the old-age allowance regarding the plaintiff Ţ.I. as illegal; Obliges on defendants P.R. -C.D. and S.G.C.D. upon reinstatement of the old-age allowance to the applicants O.I., P.V., R.E., S.I., Ţ.I. from 27 February 2021 until 09 June 2022 “, shall be shown in the judgment given by the General Court Bistrița-Năsăud.
The Romanian Parliament is also obliged to pay the court costs, which in total reach 9,000 lei. The sentence has not yet been reasoned, and therefore not communicated to the parties, so that, for the time being, it has been challenged by any of the parties involved.