Cyprus Mail

Departing MPs get €4 million bonus

The 28 MPs who did not re-enter parliament will receive a combined €4m in retirement bonuses, tax free.

On top of that, 12 of these deputies who have reached the age of 60 will start getting cheques in the mail for their monthly pensions.

According to Phileleftheros, the state treasury has already begun processing the compensation payments for the departing MPs.

Twenty-eight MPs in the previous parliament either ran and failed to get re-elected in the May 22 legislative elections, or did not run at all.

MPs with one term under their belt are entitled to a one-off bonus of €75,728; those who have served two or more terms get €185,114.

DISY MP for Famagusta Evgenios Hamboullas – who earlier this year gained notoriety after posting a photo of himself on Facebook in front of a plate of ambelopoulia, an illegal delicacy – lost out twice.

Having failed to regain his seat in this year’s legislative elections, he is not entitled to an MP’s bonus, having served only 18 months.

In order to be eligible for the bonus, an MP must have served at least 48 months, if he or she has been elected, or 24 months if appointed due to a seat becoming vacant.

Hamboullas was sworn in as deputy in November 2014, after a seat opened when DISY MP Lefteris Christoforou was officially declared an MEP, following the resignation of Christos Stylianides, who was appointed EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Hamboullas was the runner-up for the seat in the Famagusta district in the 2011 parliamentary elections.

Five of the eight AKEL MPs who did not re-enter parliament this May will be handing their bonuses over to the party’s coffers, per party policy. The other three are not obliged to do so, as they belong to the ‘New Forces’ wing of the party.

Meantime, 12 of the 28 departing parliamentarians are also entitled to a pension, having reached the age of 60 or above.

MPs are one of very few professional groups eligible for pension at the age of 60; the minimum retirement age is 63.

The gross pension for MPs with one term comes to €1,352; and €3,305 for those who have served two or more terms.

Those eligible for a pension of €3,305 are: Maria Kyriakou, Georgios Tasou (DISY); Stella Mishaouli, Nicos Katsourides, Yiannos Lamaris (AKEL); Fyttos Constantinou, Sophocles Fyttis, Athina Kyriakidou (DIKO); Nicos Koutsou (Citizens Alliance); and Yiannakis Omirou (EDEK).

DISY MP Andreas Michaelides and EDEK’s Nicos Nicolaides will be receiving the smaller pension, having served one term.

And as of next year, on reaching the age of 60, the following will be entitled to an MP’s pension: Roulla Mavronikola (EDEK), Fidias Sarikas (EDEK) and Christos Mesis (AKEL).

MPs earn a salary of about €6,000 gross before taxes. In addition, they receive about two grand in various allowances, such as for personal assistant services and travel expenses.

Former deputies who go on to secure jobs in the state sector are in the meantime also paid their pensions, as the relevant law has yet to be amended.

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