Pension system in defense, public order and national security

The military personnel and the civil servants having a similar statute benefited from a distinct place in the pension fund ever since the first legislative regulations in this field. We can even say that the entire public pension fund has its origins in the first regulations in this field, which were meant for such categories of personnel.

The changes on a social and economic level, determined, in the relatively recent past, a change of the entire vision on the manner of approach of all categories of pensions, interrupting a tradition of decades or even hundreds of years.
Thus, Romania holds at present one unitary public pension system, which integrates also the pension systems of the personnel from the fields of defense, public order and national security, whose pensions are continuously controlled and managed by the sectoral pension funds of the Ministry of National Defense, of the Ministry of Administration and Home Affairs and of the Romanian Intelligence Service, all these sectoral pension funds being subordinated to the National House of Public Pensions.

This measure, besides quite severely criticized, although it was intended as a response and a necessity to the existing social reality, caused, just as a boomerang, the opposite effect. The chaos, determined by the legislative changes that interfered, had as consequence the non-unitary practice both of the sectoral pension funds and of the courts that recorded a multitude of cases because of the omnipresent uncertainty at that moment in the entire unitary public pension system.

Although the legislative changes that aimed at the military pensions recalculation had, as initial purpose, the reduction of state expenses, as a social and economic measure determined by the financial situation of the State existing at that moment,
the manner of approaching the complete change produced serious injustices and violations of human rights, fact that lead to the compensation of the transgressed rights in court, so that, in the end, the costs resulting from the solution of all social security litigations and the compensations or pensions recalculation according to legal decisions amounted to higher expenses from the state budget than the expenses existing prior to the reformation of the entire pension system.

The criticisms brought to the administrative practice within the sectoral pension funds determined an improper perception on such funds, starting from the existence of the compulsory previous administrative procedure in the solving of contestations by the appeal commissions against the decisions issued by the sectoral pension funds and up to the legislation manner of interpretation and implementation, all the actions directed against the sectoral pension funds caused their internal imbalance. Most of the difficulties encountered in pensions’ recalculation procedure by the sectoral pension funds were determined by the wave of legislative changes, which produced confusion in the implementation of legal provisions. For these reasons, during almost five years from the existence of the unitary public pensions system, we can refer to an actual jurisprudential dimension of military pensions within the unitary public pensions system, through the occupation of an important place by the litigations having as subject the administrative practice within the sectoral pension funds in the social security jurisdiction.

The financial evolution report for the expenses produced by the payment of pensions to the personnel from the fields of defense, public order and national security, as well as by the compensation of prejudices and of transgressed rights admitted in court for such persons, determined the reconsideration of the entire unitary public pensions system by an attempt of returning to tradition through the wish to restore the special and distinct nature of military pensions due to the fact that these are characterized by separation from the different pension funds, not as a privilege but as a recognition by the State and by the other citizens of the peculiarities and restrictions specific to the military profession, whose special statute is much more severe and restrictive.

The main conclusion of the entire research on the judicial review of the administrative practice within the sectoral pension funds, in relation to the result that seems to be outlined in the modification of the legislation within the field of military pensions, is directed towards the benefit contribution brought by all litigations existing in this field. Although, from a jurisprudential point of view, they do not represent a source of law, the courts’ almost constant solutions in favor of the former military personnel lead, inevitably, towards an almost unanimous recognition of such persons’ violated rights, recognition that should materialize also from a legislative point of view. Nevertheless, in order to avoid the chaos caused by a new change, it is necessary to pay special attention to the manner of approaching the military pensions from a legislative point of view, proportionally both to the economic possibilities of the State and to the acknowledgement of merits related to the involvement of military personnel in the establishment of the highest security degree from which the Romanian State can benefit.

Andreea Brebu

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