Court rules in police officer's favor on higher special pension rights

Supreme Court of Estonia in Tartu.
Supreme Court of Estonia in Tartu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Supreme Court of Estonia has ruled that an amendment to the law, which deprived a veteran police officer of the right to receive a higher special pension, was unconstitutional.

Police officers, who took up their posts before 2020, are entitled to receive a special pension for completing a minimum of 20 years' service. The amount received is determined as a percentage of their salary while working as a police officer. A person who has worked in the police in different roles is able to choose which of their previous roles' salaries is used as a basis for calculating the size of their special pension.

However, an amendment to the law, which entered into force at the beginning of 2020, removed the right for retiring police officers to choose which of their previous posts' salaries would be used as a basis for making that calculation.

Officers were instead offered the option of receiving a pension as a percentage of the salary of their previous post, at the time they had held it. Therefore, under the new law, the pension is usually much lower than it would have been under the previous one.

In the case presented before the Supreme Court, the appellant had been granted a pension, which, due to the new law, was around one fifth lower than could have been expected under the previous law, that had been in force for a long period of his time in service.

The Supreme Court ruled that the amendment in question was unconstitutional, and that by enacting it, the state had acted in an unreasonable manner towards the appellant. The Court stated that the slight saving in state expenditure achieved by the amendment to the law was not sufficient to justify breaching promises made to the applicant by the law.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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