By Angelos Anastasiou
A PROPOSED bill to use April 1, 1991 as the start date for calculating the average career salary for civil servants, on which pensions will be paid after retirement, will be prepared by the government, deputy House finance committee chairman Angelos Votsis said on Monday.
A 2012 bill overhauled the way the retirement benefits – lump-sum benefit and monthly pension – of civil servants were calculated, by switching the base figure from retiring civil servants’ last salary to their career mean salary.
However, the subsequent revelation that state organisations did not have computerised payroll records prior to 1991 raised a barrier that was overcome with the proposal to use 1991 as the start date.
According to the legislative proposal, originally tabled by ruling DISY leader Averof Neophytou, this arrangement will lift two unjust provisions – the first being that civil servants who had been younger than 45 in 2012 (civil servants under the age of 45 were not entitled to full retirement benefits), and the second that, in addition to the age floor of 45, an additional requirement for securing full retirement benefits was at least five years of service.
In practice, these rules meant that a 46-year-old civil servant with six years on the job would be entitled to full retirement benefits, whereas a 44-year-old with 20 years of service would not.
“The government seems to have adopted the proposal, which includes abolishing the 45-year-old clause, as long as one has completed five years as a civil servant,” Votsis said.
“DIKO has asked for the examination of the proposal’s cost, and it seems that this will not be an issue.”
DISY MP Prodromos Prodromou said the proposed law would lift the age-discrimination in force until now, adding that it abolishes the age limit that contradicts European law and court decisions.
“From now on, civil servants will qualify for early retirement as long as they have been employed for at least five years,” he said.