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Audit office receives updated pension bills

aud
File photo: Audit office of the Republic

The audit office on Friday said it had received the updated bills from parliament regarding changes to regulations on public officials receiving multiple pensions.

In their proposal submitted at the end of October, the service called for a cut-off-date to be set to deal with the issue of multiple pensions received by public officials.

On Friday, the audit office said it had forwarded the bills to the House speaker and the finance minister.

Last month, the issue was raised a house finance committee session after it was revealed that President Nikos Christodoulides and members of his cabinet continue receiving pensions for past service in the public sector while drawing a salary for their current jobs.

In its announcement on Friday the audit office said: “Our service prepared texts for the amendment of six relevant laws concerning pensions of state officials and civil servants of the wider public sector, which were forwarded to the director general of the Parliament on 31.10.2023 for any comments and changes of a legal nature.”

It has proposed a cut-off-date of January 1, 2024 if legislation is passed before the end of the year for officials receiving multiple pensions, as had been done in 2012 when reductions were introduced to public sector employees during the financial crisis.

With the cut-off date, the distortions are expected to be regulated. “If the legislation is not passed until early 2024, the cut-off date should be March 1, 2024,” the audit office said.

The service said that they also propose that any retired individual, who assumes another public office or position in Cyprus or in an EU institution after January 1, 2024, would have the pension payment suspended.

For persons who receive a pension due to service in the offices of the president, House speaker, minister, deputy minister and member of parliament, the legislation already provides for the pension suspension if they are appointed to another public position.

The service also recommended the introduction of a ceiling on pensions where someone served in one or more offices in the Republic, so that the aggregated pension payouts do not exceed two-thirds of their highest earnings.

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