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MPs link ministers’ pension to 10-year service

By Raed Omari - Sep 19,2018 - Last updated at Sep 19,2018

AMMAN — MPs on Tuesday linked ministers’ entitlement to a lifetime pension to at least 10 years of public service as they amended the Civil Retirement Law.

During a session on Tuesday, a majority of deputies rejected a government’s proposal to entitle ministers to pension if they have a qualifying service of seven years at ministries, public institutions or municipalities. 

Under the Lower House’s amendments to the said law, the 10-year qualifying service is also applied to higher category positions at public institutions and to employees receiving the same salaries as ministers.

As per the House’s amendments, Cabinet members whose service is less than ten years can ask, after leaving office, for their time in service to be included in the Social Security Law.

Under the current law, they receive a lifetime pension regardless of the period of service, a privilege that has been a source of bitter public criticism at a time when the government has been complaining of meagre resources.  

The draft amendments stipulate that if a retiree is appointed as a minister, his/her pension salaries and  “partial” disability allowances have to be halted as of the date of their reappointment.

Disability pensions, which are normally higher than regular pensions, are given in cases of total or partial disability. There have been cases when officials who have left jobs for health reasons re-joined public service as ministers. 

In the case of suspending the allowance of pensioners who become ministers, the pension shall be recalculated at the end of the resumed service, including the time spent in the new job, provided that the recalculated pension salary does not drop below the previous one.

Minister of Finance Ezzedine Kanakrieh has recently said that the value of ministers’ annual pensions amount to around JD10 million.

During a recent discussion of the 2018 amendments to the Civil Retirement Law with the House’s Legal Committee, Kanakrieh said that there are a total of 388 retired ministers and prime ministers receiving pensions.

He also said that the value of annual pensions of all public service retirees amounts to JD1.33 billion.

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