President takes dispute over pension reform to the Supreme Court
President Kersti Kaljulaid did not proclaim the mandatory funded pension reform bill for a second time on Friday and has sent the law to the Supreme Court.
"The constitution is a framework for our nation and our society. Both crisis measures and ordinary legislative procedure must fit within this framework. Similarly, no constitution-free zone for putting campaign promises into practice exists - these too must consider the constitution as the foundation of our social agreement," Kaljulaid said.
She said her understanding of both the constitution and the pension reform has not changed during the past month. As the parliament passed the bill again unchanged, the President's argument with regard to forwarding the bill to the Supreme Court has also not altered.
The Riigikogu passed the mandatory funded pension reform bill on January 29, after hours of deliberations, with 56 votes for and 45 against. The government tied the vote to a confidence motion to avoid opposition stalling tactics. After the President rejected the bill in early February, the Riigikogu passed the Pension Reform Act unchanged for the second time on March 11.
"The bill at hand infringes on the Constitution enough to warrant returning the bill to the parliament," Kaljulaid said on February 7. "It is clearly a tax for the purpose of pension and national health insurance. If these sums are withdrawn, it clearly alters the purpose of the instrument. And that is unconstutional," Kaljulaid then explained.
The reform seeks to allow people to decide whether to join or leave the second pillar of the pension fund. People who wish to continue saving for retirement as they already have will not have to do anything. If a person wants to leave the pillar, join it or stop making payments, they need to submit an application to the bank or pension center. The reform will allow people the chance to invest their existing pension assets themselves.
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Editor: Anders Nõmm