The Estonian state paid out €8.5 million in Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) pensions, while the amount is rising year-on-year.
The issue is in the spotlight after the PPA's former director, Elmar Vaher, was declared a suspect in a case of benefit fraud; Vaher had allegedly seen to it that another high-ranking state official Eerik Heldna, would see his full pension rights guaranteed, by declaring him a full-time PPA employee at a time when he was engaged in a period of secondment with the Estonian Defense Forces.
The PPA's special pension stands at a little over €500 per month; all told, this cost the stat €8.5 million last year and, since the pension is indexed on April 1 annually, the value rises each year.
PPA, Rescue Board (Päästeamet) and prison officers who have worked for their authority for at least 25 years have the right to receive a full pension.
1,456 people are currently registered as receiving this pension, though a separate figure for PPA officers alone could not be given, the Social Insurance Board (SKA) told ERR.
The special pension consists of a base of €276 per month, brought up to a maximum of €506 per month, depending on service length.
Other professions to receive a pension on that basis include aviation workers, miners, sailors, special needs teachers and public transport drivers in urban areas.
Heldna had allegedly qualified for the 25-year service period thanks to Vaher's intervention in his case.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov