Amendments to the PIO Act are still being written

In its decision, the Constitutional Court requested that new changes on the age pension limits for women and men be sent to the Parliament in 20 days, and that deadline expired on December 4

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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The Government did not follow the decision of the Constitutional Court because it did not submit amendments to the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance to the Parliament within the stipulated period of 30 days. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare told "Vijesti" that it will be done soon and that they will propose to the Assembly to discuss this issue under an urgent procedure.

On November 3, the Official Gazette published the decision of the Constitutional Court, which abolished the provision from Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance (PIO), which stipulated that women can retire at 64 and men at 66 if they have a minimum 15 years of experience.

In the same decision, the Constitutional Court ordered the Government to adopt a new text of the law within 30 days, which must be in accordance with the Court's assessment that women must not be positively discriminated against in relation to men. That deadline expired on Monday, December 4.

Two days earlier, at the session on Saturday, the Social Council decided to propose a solution to the Government that both women and men can retire at the age of 65 with a minimum of 15 years of service. It was also agreed to make a change in relation to retiring with 40 years of insurance experience, regardless of age.

However, neither on December 4, nor at the Government session on Thursday, December 7, was the proposal to amend the Law on PIO, which would have been sent to the Parliament, adopted, and because of this, "Vijesti" asked the Government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare why the deadline from the decision was not met of the Constitutional Court.

"Drafting the draft law on amendments to the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance was preceded by a dialogue with social partners, after which the other procedures that precede the adoption of the law began. All of the above required time, so this is the reason for the delay in submitting the bill to the Parliament of Montenegro. Due to the above, the Government will propose to the Parliament of Montenegro that, in accordance with Article 151 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Montenegro, it passes this law under an urgent procedure", stated in the reply from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.

"Vijesti" also asked the Constitutional Court whether the Government informed them why it did not act on the Constitutional Court's decision, as well as what the Constitutional Court can now take over because the Government did not act on its decision, but they did not receive an answer.

So far, no changes to the law for proportionate pensioners

The increase in the minimum pension will not apply to beneficiaries of proportionate pensions, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare informed "Vijesti".

"Vijesti" asked whether in the amendments to the Law on PIO, which the Government should send to the Parliament, it will be defined that the sum of pensions received by proportionate pensioners will not be less than the minimum pension in Montenegro, as previously announced.

After the decision of the Constitutional Court, a group of so-called proportionate pensioners appealed to the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, so that they too would be covered by this amendment to the Pension and Disability Insurance Act.

Proportionate pensioners are citizens of Montenegro who acquired the right to a pension by combining the work experience they had from two or more former Yugoslav republics, based on interstate agreements. The pension fund of each country has calculated the amount of pension that should be paid to them for the length of service they had in its territory.

There are about 11 of these pensioners in Montenegro, and according to the current Law on PIO, the minimum pension limit does not apply to them, so most of them receive significantly lower amounts. They did not even receive one-time benefits that were distributed by the Government to other pensioners in the past years.

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