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Rules for determining the amount of a given old-age pension. SK 16/12

The challenged provision of the Act on Old-Age and Disability Pensions from the Social Insurance Fund is consistent with the Constitution.

At the hearing on 11 July 2013 at 11 a.m., the Constitutional Tribunal considered a constitutional complaint, submitted by Ms A.P., which concerned rules for determining the amount of a given old-age pension.

The Constitutional Tribunal adjudicated that Article 21(3) of the Act of 17 December 1998 on Old-Age and Disability Pensions from the Social Insurance Fund, insofar as it did not apply to persons who had received early retirement pensions, granted to them pursuant to the provisions of the Regulation of 26 January 1990 issued by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy with regard to early retirement pensions for employees dismissed for reasons related to companies, was consistent with Article 67(1) in conjunction with Article 32(1) of the Constitution as well as was not inconsistent with Article 67(2) of the Constitution.

As to the remainder of the application, the Tribunal discontinued the proceedings.

A dissenting opinion was submitted by Judge Teresa Liszcz.

The right to social security set out in Article 67(1) of the Constitution guarantees that every citizen shall receive a benefit whenever incapacitated for work by reason of sickness or invalidism as well as having attained retirement age. The said provisions are set out in points, which entails that Article 67 does not refer to situations which are not mentioned therein. Apart from indicating basic situations where a citizen must be entitled to the right to social security, within the remaining scope, the legislator has been granted considerable regulatory freedom. The complainant did not challenge the regulation as such within the scope of social security, but argued for its incompleteness which consisted in the fact that the challenged provision left out persons who had received early retirement pensions granted pursuant to the Regulation of 1990. In such circumstances, there was no possibility of determining the amount of old-age pensions anew, in accordance with the principles specified in Article 15 of the Act on Old-Age and Disability Pensions from the Social Insurance Fund, as this was the case with regard to persons who had received early retirement pensions. The Tribunal stated that it was impossible to derive the constitutional right to a specific form of an old-age pension benefit from Article 67(1) of the Constitution. Consequently, it was impossible to indicate a way in which the legislator was to specify particular requirements and terms of granting such benefits. The complainant would have had to prove that the matters regulated in the challenged provision were identical in their essence to those left out of the provision. However, the complainant failed to prove that. The Tribunal concluded that the said provision was consistent with the Constitution.

The hearing was presided over by the President of the Constitutional Tribunal, Judge Andrzej Rzepliński, and the Judge Rapporteur was Judge Andrzej Wróbel.

The judgment is final and its operative part shall be published in the Journal of Laws.