The Riigikogu voted in favor of the pension reform bill which had been returned to the house following its original passing by President Kersti Kaljulaid, by 52 votes in favor to 43 against. There were six abstentions.
The president declined to promulgate the bill, which would have made membership of the second pillar of the Estonian pensions system – referring to employee contributions – optional, where it had been mandatory for most earners, in early February, saying it was unconstitutional.
The procedure then was for the parliament to vote on it once again, after which it gets sent back to the president for assent. If she declines a second time, a decision would need to be made at the Supreme Court.
Helir-Valdor Seeder, chair of the Isamaa party, whose brainchild the bill largely was, said Wednesday's vote showed that the coalition remains united on the issue.
"I am delighted that our partners support the pension reform initiated by the government and Isamaa, which gives people greater freedom and justice in securing their retirement. So far, practice has shown that our pension system needs a reform which would ensure the sustainability of the pension system. Our goal is to give every person in Estonia the freedom to decide whether to invest independently, leave, or join another pension pillar," Seeder said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte