ANO Opposition Files Motion with Czech Constitutional Court to Challenge Pension Amendment

In a significant move, the opposition party ANO has filed a motion with the Czech Constitutional Court to challenge the stricter conditions for early retirement imposed by the government’s pension amendment. The motion comes as a response to the party’s concerns regarding the removal of a key transitional period of 13 months during the legislative process, which was initially included in the government’s draft but subsequently dropped.

Alena Schillerova, the head of ANO’s parliamentary group, announced the motion and highlighted the party’s primary objection, which is the absence of the 13-month transitional period. She argued that new conditions for early pensions were introduced without any transition period, leading to an unacceptable inequality between individuals born before and after specific dates. Those who had met the conditions under the previous legislation suddenly became ineligible after the amendment took effect, causing a lack of fairness and stability in the pension system.

Schillerova emphasized the need for a transitional period, noting that decisions related to early retirement typically require months, if not years, of planning. ANO contends that the ruling coalition has violated democratic principles and the rules of procedure for the Chamber of Deputies by pushing through a fixed voting time. In a democratic state governed by the rule of law, the party argues, the minority must have the opportunity to express its opinion, participate in debates, and fulfill its role of scrutinizing the ruling majority.

The Constitutional Court has accepted the motion, which was filed by a group of 71 MPs, and there is a proposal for its priority proceeding under article 39 of the Constitutional Court law. The judge rapporteur for this case will likely be known in the coming days.

Schillerova also revealed that ANO is contemplating challenging the government’s consolidation package in the Constitutional Court, citing concerns about the approval procedure in the Chamber of Deputies and certain retroactive provisions within the package.

The pension amendment, which has already taken effect, introduced changes that reduce the possibility of early retirement from five to three years as of October. It also reduces the amount received in early retirement, and the merit part of the pension will not be indexed until the regular retirement age. Additionally, a year later, the minimum period of social insurance payments required for pension eligibility will be extended by five years to 40 years.

The government initially planned for these changes to come into effect in September, but President Petr Pavel raised reservations about the pension bill in late August. Ultimately, he signed it on September 1, leading to its implementation in the subsequent month. The changes have sparked political debate and legal challenges, reflecting the importance of pension reform in the Czech Republic.

Article by Prague Forum

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