Cyprus Mail

Civil servants call for reintroduction of pension scheme

Teachers’ and civil servants’ trade unions said they would like to see the pension fund that was abolished during the economic crisis restored, arguing that newcomers don’t have this benefit.

Following a meeting with teachers’ unions Oelmek, Poed, Oltek and civil servants’ union Pasydy, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said he would pass on to cabinet their request to restore the Pension Fund in the public sector.

Cabinet had decided due to the financial crisis to abolish the pension fund for new entrants to the civil service and its replacement with a provident fund.

In his statements after the meeting, Pasydy head Glafkos Hadjipetrou said they raised the issue of restoring the pension plan, which had been in force for decades.

He said they do not agree with the cabinet decision.

“The assurance we have received from the minister is that he will put the issue back to the cabinet for consideration and decision,” he said.

Asked if the trade unions were satisfied with the minister’s assurances, Hadjipetrou said he would be pleased if the pension plan was restored, noting that during the pre-accession negotiations, Cyprus had even been commended by the EU for its professional pension plans, which were subsequently abolished because of the crisis.

At the moment, those who entered the public service after 2011 have neither a pension scheme nor a provident fund, he said.

“Our request is for the issue to be duly studied and it is an issue that cannot be examined only based on economic criteria,” he said.

He added that civil servants spend many years of their lives working for the public, “and we feel they are entitled to a decent pension after all those years of service.”

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