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A fresh look at pensions

Jul 05,2018 - Last updated at Jul 05,2018

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz has made good on his promise to rectify the grave anomaly in the civil retirement legislation that allowed a Cabinet minister to receive pension, even when he or she were in office for only few months.

Now, the government amended this injustice by requiring no less than seven years of public service before a minister can qualify for a pension. Also rectified in the new legislation governing pensions from public service was the abused disability allowance regulation that some ministers and public servants exploited to gain extra pension allowance on the pretext that they had suffered disability while in public service.

Left unaddressed is how to make the new corrective rules and regulations retroactive since the old pension system is full of abuses and exploitation that date back to periods before the enactment of the new corrective amendments.

True in principle, laws cannot have a retroactive effect but there must be a way to deal with past injustices perpetrated under the old legislation covering the pension system. There must be a way to do so, otherwise, there would be a cause to complain that the new legislation is "discriminatory" by not covering as well past injustices and abuses by according old beneficiaries a preferential treatment.

Equally untouched is the fact that many beneficiaries under the Social Security Pension system are pocketing huge pension amounts by unfairly raising their last salaries higher in order to qualify for a higher pension allowance.

There must be a way to redress this pocket of exploitation by not only addressing all future pensions allowances, something that had already been done, but also rectifying all past abuses and exploitation of the system.

Likewise, stopping past wrongs must not prevent the government from having a fresh look at pensions that civil servants now receive. The current pension amounts cannot remain steady when cost of living has sky rocketed. The government is invited to have another look at this injustice as well in order to adopt a new legislation on pensions that is fair, and justice for all, ministers or otherwise.

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