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On the recalculation and payment of pensions upon occurrence of an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state

Case No. 46/2010-47/2010-48/2010-49/2010-51/2010-52/2010-70/2010-77/2010-82/2010-83/2010-84/2010-85/2010-86/2010-87/2010-94/2010-100/2010-101/2010-109/2010-114/2010-123/2010-124/2010-128/2010-129/2010-133/2010-134/2010-142/2010-143/2010-1/2011-2/2011-5/2011-8/2011-16/2011-21/2011-23/2011-25/2011-29/2011-32/2011-37/2011-39/2011

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA REGULATING THE RECALCULATION AND PAYMENT OF PENSIONS IN AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE STATE WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 6 February 2012

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court Egidijus Bieliūnas, Toma Birmontienė, Pranas Kuconis, Gediminas Mesonis, Ramutė Ruškytė, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis, and Dainius Žalimas,

with the secretary—Daiva Pitrėnaitė,

          in the presence of the representative of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, who was the judge Ernestas Spruogis,

in the presence of the representatives of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, a party concerned, who were Vincė Vaidevutė Margevičienė and Donatas Jankauskas, Members of the Seimas, as well as the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, a party concerned who were Irena Šambaraitė, Deputy Head of the Legal Division of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and Rita Babianskaitė, Deputy Head of the Social Insurance and Funded Pensions Division of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour,

pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its public hearing, on 4 January 2012, heard a constitutional justice case subsequent to:

1) the petition (No. 1B-49/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions of officials and servicemen, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Amendment of Articles 3, 6, 8, and 15 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as after this law amended the Law on State Pensions, Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the latter law established that “the amount of the established state pension as well as the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person under Paragraph 1 of this Article may not exceed per person the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid”, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

2) the petition (No. 1B-53/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph applies to persons who receive state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions of officials and servicemen, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

3) the petition (petition No. 1B-54/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

  • Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;
  • Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, who are covered by the state social pension insurance according to Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, during the period of their insurance by the state social pension insurance are paid 50 per cent of the payment belonging to them, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

4) a petition (No. 1B-55/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

  • Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;
  • Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

5) the petition (No. 1B-60/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, insofar as it reduces the maximum amount of the state pension established in this paragraph, as well as the maximum amount of the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person from the amount of 1.5 to 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

6) the petition (No. 1B-61/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

7) the petition (No. 1B-79/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

8) the petition (No. 1B-87/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

9) the petition (No. 1B-88/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, who are covered by the state social pension insurance according to Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, during the period of their insurance by the state social pension insurance are paid 50 per cent of the payment belonging to them, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

10) the petition (No. 1B-89/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

11) the petition (No. 1B-90/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

12) the petition (No. 1B-91/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes the recalculation of state pensions by applying a corresponding coefficient, without providing for compensation for the losses in the same law, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph does not provide for compensation of the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

13) the petition (No. 1B-95/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

14) the petition (No. 1B-96/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

15) the petition (No. 1B-101/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, insofar as it reduces the maximum amount of the state pension established in this paragraph, as well as the maximum amount of the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person from the amount of 1.5 to 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

16) the petition (No. 1B-110/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

17) the petition (No. 1B-111/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

18) the petition (No. 1B-121/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes a different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

19) the petition (No. 1B-123/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) is not in conflict with Articles 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) is not in conflict with Articles 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

20) the petition (No. 1B-129/2010) of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the receivers of the state social insurance old-age pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this law, who (upon awarding of a pension) are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (with the exception of persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and who have the insured income, are paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the preceding calendar month, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as the sum of a part of an old-age pension calculated in this paragraph is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

– Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions as approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994, insofar as the old-age pension is recalculated according to the procedure established in Article 6 of the Provisional Law if the amount of the old-age pension awarded to a person exceeds the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

– Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008, insofar as this item establishes that persons who had reached the age of 65 years and over on 1 January 2008, provided the calculated sum of a part of the pension exceeds LTL 100, are paid, in June 2009, 50 per cent of the sum calculated for the person, but not more than LTL 830, while the remaining part of the calculated sum is paid in June 2012, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

21) the petition (No. 1B-132/2010) of the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions and Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions as approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008 are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

22) the petition (No. 1B-137/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 2 of Article 5 and Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) are not in conflict with Articles 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

23) the petition (No. 1B-141/2010) of the Kaunas Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any compensation for the reduced pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

24) the petition (No. 1B-146/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

25) the petition (No. 1B-149/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) is not in conflict with Articles 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

26) the petition (No. 1B-155/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph provides for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded old-age pensions, was not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 and Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

27) the petition (No. 1B-158/2010) of the Kaunas Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any compensation for the reduced pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

28) the petition (No. 1B-159/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any compensation for the reduced pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

29) the petition (No. 1B-1/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any compensation for the reduced pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

30) the petition (No. 1B-4/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes that the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

– Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008, insofar as this item establishes that persons who had reached the age of 65 years and over on 1 January 2008, are paid the remaining part of the non-received pension in June 2012, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

31) the petition (No. 1B-6/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph provides for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded old-age pensions, was not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 and Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

32) the petition (No. 1B-15/2011) of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as the receivers of the state social insurance old-age pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this law, who (upon awarding of a pension) are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (with the exception of persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and who have the insured income, are paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the preceding calendar month, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

– Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions as approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994, insofar as the old-age pension is recalculated according to the procedure established in Article 6 of the Provisional Law if the amount of the old-age pension awarded to a person exceeds the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights;

33) the petition (No. 1B-21/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph provides for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded old-age pensions, is not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 and Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph provides for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded old-age pensions, was not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 and Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any compensation for the reduced pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– whether Article 72 (wording of 3 February 1993) of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine, whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, also whether Paragraph 4 (wording of 3 February 1993) of Article 72 of the said law is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

34) the petition (No. 1B-24/2011) of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, and whether Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions as approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008, insofar as this item establishes that persons who reached the age of 65 years and over on 1 January 2008, provided the calculated sum of a part of the pension exceeds LTL 100, are paid, in June 2009, 50 per cent of the sum calculated for the person, but not more than LTL 830, while the remaining part of the calculated sum is paid in June 2012, are not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

35) the petition (No. 1B-25/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes that the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

36) the petition (No. 1B-31/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Annex 1 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009) insofar as it establishes an uneven scale of reduction of state pensions of officials and servicemen is not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, insofar as this paragraph was related with the limitation (on a termless basis) of the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and does not provide for a mechanism for compensation for the difference which would occur after applying the coefficient of the amount of 1.3, but not that of the amount of 1.5, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

37) the petition (No. 1B-40/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph did not establish that this law does not apply to persons receiving state social insurance old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, was not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania;

38) the petition (No. 1B-45/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, insofar as this paragraph establishes (established) that the amount of the state pension of officials, as well as the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person under Paragraph 1 of this article, may not exceed per person the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, is (was) not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

39) the petition (No. 1B-47/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (wording of 9 December 2009), insofar as this paragraph establishes that the state social insurance old-age pension awarded before the coming into force of this law is recalculated by applying the amount of the insured income of the current year as approved, for the application of this law, by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as this paragraph establishes that the receivers of the state social insurance old-age pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this law, who (upon awarding of a pension) are (or were) insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (according to Items 1, 3, 4, 5 and 13 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and who have (had in the preceding calendar month) the insured income, are paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the preceding calendar month, was (is) not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

By the Constitutional Court decision of 23 December 2011, these petitions were joined into one case.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The petitions of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, the Kaunas Regional Administrative Court, the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court, the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioners, are substantiated by the following arguments.

  1. The petitioners substantiate their doubts regarding the compliance of the provisions of the disputed legal acts, which regulate the recalculation and payment of pensions, with the Constitution, by the official constitutional doctrine.

1.1. The right to demand that the pensionary maintenance payments, which are established in the Constitution and laws not in conflict with the Constitution, be paid stems from Article 52 of the Constitution, whereas the proprietary aspects of this right are defended under Article 23 of the Constitution. The state has a duty to fulfil those obligations of a proprietary character, which it has undertaken while establishing, by law, such legal regulation, according to which a person, who fulfils the conditions established by the law, acquires the right to a certain pension; upon establishing, by laws, the types of pensions, the persons entitled to the pension, the grounds and conditions of awarding and paying pensions, and the amounts of pensions, a duty arises for the state to follow the constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations and legal certainty in the area of pensionary maintenance relations.

The legislator, while establishing which persons are awarded and paid the state pension, the grounds and conditions for awarding and payment of the state pension, as well as the amounts of this pension, is bound by the constitutional principles of social harmony and the principles of justice, reasonableness and proportionality.

1.2. The reduced pensions may be paid only temporarily, i.e. only as long as there is an extreme situation in the state (an economic crisis, natural disaster, etc.), when there is an objective lack of funds, which are necessary for the payment of pensions, and only to the extent that is necessary to ensure the vitally important interests of society and protect other values; however, even in such exceptional cases pensions may not be reduced in violation of the balance, entrenched in the Constitution, between the interests of a person and those of society; such reduction in pensions must be in line with the constitutional principle of proportionality.

1.3. The legislator, upon occurrence of an extreme situation, when inter alia due to an economic crisis it is impossible to accumulate the amount of the funds necessary to pay old-age pensions, must, while reducing old-age pensions, provide for a mechanism of compensation for incurred losses to the persons to whom such pensions were awarded and paid, according to which, after the said extreme situation is over, the state would undertake an obligation before such persons to compensate them, in a fair manner and within a reasonable time, the losses incurred by them due to the reduction of the old-age pension.

1.4. Under the Constitution, the legal regulation whereby the person cannot freely choose a job and business due to the fact that upon the implementation of this right, he would not be paid the awarded old-age pension or a part thereof, which was paid until then, may not be established also when due to the extreme circumstances (economic crisis, etc.) there occurs an especially grave economic and financial situation in the state; it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation whereby the old-age pension awarded and paid to the persons who have a certain job or conduct a certain business would be, due to this, reduced to a greater extent if compared with the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business.

1.5. The legislator may correct the legal regulation of state pensions, which in their nature and character are different from old-age pensions as well as from disability pensions, by reducing these pensions to a greater extent than old-age and disability pensions; while doing so, the proportions of the amounts of state pensions established prior to the occurrence of the particularly grave economic and financial situation in the state may not be violated.

The legislator is under an obligation to provide for a mechanism of compensation for incurred losses to the persons to whom a state pension was awarded and paid, whereby the state would undertake an obligation before such persons, after the said extreme situation is over, to compensate them, within a reasonable time and in a fair manner, the losses incurred by them due to the reduction of the state pension to a great extent; the losses incurred due to the reduction of state pensions may be compensated to a smaller extent than the losses incurred due to the reduction of old-age or disability pensions.

2. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, a petitioner (petition No. 1B-40/2011), has specified that Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 1 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (hereinafter also referred to as the Provisional Law) entrenched such legal regulation under which this law was (had to be) applied to a person who has been recognised a special need of permanent nursing and who, due to this fact, is, essentially, in the same (analogous) factual situation as the persons who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work, while with respect to these latter person, who are virtually in the same (analogous) situation, i.e.  who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work, this law was not applied. The said groups of persons, who are in an essentially equal (comparable to each other) situation, were treated differently from the legal point of view, even though there was not enough ground for such a different treatment and legal regulation.3. According to the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-129/2010,1B-15/2011), the Kaunas Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-141/2010,1B-158/2010), and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-146/2010,1B-159/2010, 1B-1/2011, 1B-25/2011), petitioners, the right to recalculate the already awarded state social insurance old-age pensions, which is entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, is to be assessed as a violation of the principles enshrined in the Constitution, since such legal regulation implies legal uncertainty, indeterminacy of the granted rights and denies the legitimate expectations of a person.4. TheVilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-123/2010, 1B-149/2010, 1B-155/2010,1B-6/2011, 1B-21/2011, 1B-47/2011) and the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-129/2010, 1B-15/2011), petitioners, have doubted whetherthe legislator properly complied with the Constitution, when, by means of the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, it provided for the reduction of old-age pensions for the persons who have a certain job or conduct a certain business to a greater extent than for the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business.5.In the opinion of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court(petitions Nos. 1B-54/2010, 1B-55/2010, 1B-60/2010, 1B-61/2010, 1B-79/2010, 1B-87/2010, 1B-91/2010, 1B-95/2010, 1B-96/2010, 1B-110/2010, 1B-111/2010, 1B-121/2010), a petitioner, by relating the scale (the amount of the coefficient applied when recalculating the pension) of reduction of the state pension to the amount of the state pension received before the reduction, one violates the proportions of amounts of pensions that were established for the pensioners of the same categoryprior to the occurrence of the particularly grave economic and financial situation in the state, therefore, the petitioner has had doubts whether Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, which establishes the different scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one of the elements of which is the principle of proportionality.The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-31/2011) holds that from the formula for the calculation of the coefficient applied when calculating a part of state pensions, annuities and compensations, which is entrenched in Annex 1 of the Provisional Law, it is obvious that the Provisional Law established not an even (equal, same), but an increasing (different, progressive) scale of reduction of the awarded and paid state pensions of officials and servicemen (from 5 per cent to 20 per cent)—it increases when the sum of payments increases; it is to be supposed that by the established discriminative legal regulation, without the existence of any differences of the legal situation of persons, one violates the principles of justice, legitimate expectations, proportionality and equality of persons and unreasonably limits a person’s constitutional right to property.6. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-45/2011), a petitioner, has grounded its doubts regarding the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions with the Constitution on the fact that, according to it, by the disputed legal regulation one reduced (on a termless basis) the maximum amount of the state pension, as well as the maximum amount of the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions awarded to the same person from the amount of 1.5 to 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, and when doing that, and it was done without establishing any compensation for the emerged losses for those persons who were awarded and paid the state pension.7. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos.1B-54/2010, 1B-55/2010, 1B-60/2010, 1B-61/2010, 1B-79/2010, 1B-87/2010, 1B-95/2010, 1B-96/2010, 1B-110/2010, 1B-111/2010 and 1B-121/2010), a petitioner, has doubted whether the legislator complied with the Constitution properly, when, by the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, it provided for the reduction of the state pensions for the persons who have a certain job or conduct certain business to a greater extent than for the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business.

  1. In the opinion of the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-132/2010), the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-129/2010 and 1B-24/2011) and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-4/2011), petitioners, when the final term of payment of a part of the old-age and disability pensions was established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 November 2007) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, the persons gained a legitimate expectation that a non-received part of the pension would be paid till the end of the specified term. Upon postponement of this term, the state did not fulfil its obligations to pay the calculated part of the old-age pension properly, denied the legitimate expectations of the petitioner, created legal uncertainty and insecurity and thus violated the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The petitioners also have doubts whether the amendment of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions (hereinafter also referred to as the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure) approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008 (hereinafter also referred to as Government Resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008) and postponement of the non-received part of the pension mean proper fulfilment of the obligations of the state to refund the unpaid part of the pension. In the opinion of the petitioners, the disputed legal regulation denies the legitimate expectations of persons; by such actions, one creates legal uncertainty and insecurity and thus the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law may be violated.

  1. The Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-129/2010 and 1B-15/2011), the petitioner, doubts inter alia as regards the compliance of Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions (hereinafter also referred to as the Regulations) approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994 (hereinafter also referred to as the Government resolution No. 1156 of 18 November 1994), insofar as the old-age pension is recalculated according to the procedure established in Article 6 of the Provisional Law provided the amount of the old-age pension awarded to a person exceeds the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, with the Constitution; the petitioner has referred to the same arguments as regarding the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution, i.e. due to the fact that the disputed legal regulation, whereby one reduced the state social insurance old-age pensions awarded before the coming into force of this law, implied legal uncertainty, indeterminacy of the acquired rights, denied the legitimate expectations of a person and violated the principle of inviolability of ownership which is enshrined in Article 23 of the Constitution. In addition, upon recalculation of the pensions, one also violated the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, proportionality and equality of rights, as according to the disputed legal regulation, the awarded old-age pensions were reduced disproportionately and not equally to all persons.

II

  1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representatives of the Seimas, a party concerned, who were V. V. Margevičienė, A. Vidžiūnas and D. Jankauskas, Members of the Seimas, in which it is stated that the provisions of laws disputed in this case are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, is substantiated by the following arguments.

1.1.According to the representatives of the Seimas V. V. Margevičienė and A. Vidžiūnas, the persons who receive payments under the laws which are effective and which are not in conflict with the Constitution, have the right and the legitimate expectation to demand that the obligation to pay these payments undertaken by the state be fulfilled, however, taking account of the present situation of the state, it is necessary to establish such legal regulation, whereby other constitutional values would be protected, i.e. while keeping the balance between the interests of a person and society, one would ensure sufficient funds for the fulfilment of the state’s undertaken obligations to the receivers of payments.

According to the representatives of the Seimas, the Members of the Seimas A. Vidžiūnas and D. Jankauskas, by the provisions of the Provisional Law, one seeks to ensure payment of the payments in the period of economic crisis and to create a possibility to at least partially balance the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund. By the Provisional Law, one does not reorganise the system of social guarantees, does not, by means of measures established in the said law, change the structure of social guarantees, they are applied just temporarily and one seeks, by means of them, to ensure serving the vitally important interests of the receivers of payments. While taking account of the grave economic situation that emerged in the state and complying with the requirements which stem from the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, equality of rights, proportionality and social solidarity, one established (by means of the Provisional Law) the recalculation procedure of the targeted compensations for state pensions, for compensational payments, annuities, relief compensations, for nursing or attendance (assistance) expenditure, as well as the social insurance payments of the state social insurance old-age pensions, early old-age pensions, lost capacity to work (disability) pensions, social insurance benefits of sickness, of professional rehabilitation, of maternity, of paternity, of maternity (paternity) and of payments for children and of unemployment, which had an effect on all groups of the receivers of social payments paid from the budgets of the state and the State Social Insurance Fund.

1.2. In the opinion of the Members of the Seimas V. V. Margevičienė and A. Vidžiūnas, the constitutional principle of equal rights of persons does not deny the fact that a law may establish an uneven (differentiated) legal regulation to be applied to certain categories of persons the situation of which is different, while taking into account their status or situation, in addition, such legal regulation may be determined by the diversity of social life. The legal regulation is not to be considered as grounded on discrimination and privileges if it is applied to certain groups of persons that are distinguished by the same signs in case it strives for positive and socially meaningful goals. Taking account of that, the representatives of the Seimas, the party concerned, state that, by the provisions of the Provisional Law, one does not deviate from the constitutional principle of equality of persons, as one seeks to change the legal regulation of social payments only temporarily and to establish the measures whereby it is possible to stabilise the growth of the deficit of the budgets of the state and the State Social Insurance Fund, and, in the period of the economic crisis, to ensure the payment of payments to the persons in situations of extreme hardship. Thus, complying with the constitutional principles of proportionality and justice and taking account of the diversity of social life, one has temporarily differentiated the receivers of payments—proportionally according to the amount of the awarded payments, the smallest effect is experienced by those persons who receive the smallest payments.

1.3. The Members of the Seimas V. V. Margevičienė and A. Vidžiūnas, while referring to the official constitutional doctrine, have stated that following the principle of solidarity and taking account of the fact that state pensions, annuities, and compensations paid from the state budget are, as a rule, additional payments paid together with state social insurance pensions, it is sought, by means of the Provisional Law, to reduce the expenditures of the state budget which are related to payment of these additional payments.

1.4. The Members of the Seimas V. V. Margevičienė, A. Vidžiūnas and D. Jankauskas have noted that by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 968 “On the Approval of the Conception of the Procedure for Compensation for the Reduced State Social Insurance Old-age Pensions and for Those for Lost Capacity to Work” of 1 July 2010, following Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law and taking account of the Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010 and ruling of 29 June 2010, one approved the Conception of the Procedure for Compensation for the Reduced State Social Insurance Old-age Pensions and for Those for Lost Capacity to Work, and commissioned the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, to prepare and present to the Government, until 15 October 2011, together with a draft budget of the State Social Insurance Fund of 2012, a draft law prepared according to the provisions of the said conception whereby one would provide the proposals on how to proportionately compensate the losses due to the reduced state pensions.

The Member of the Seimas D. Jankauskas has stated that, under the Constitution, the legislator may not create any such legal situation where one passes a law or other legal act the implementation of which requires funds, but such funds are not allocated or the allocation thereof is not sufficient; while establishing the disputed regulation, account was also taken of the economic and social situation of the state of that time, therefore, the legislator followed the doctrine formulated by the Constitutional Court that legal acts may not require impossible things (lex non cogit ad impossibilia). If such unimplementable compensation of the reduced payments were established, such regulation could not be implemented in reality and, in addition, legal preconditions would be created for emergence of the expectations that would be impossible to be properly satisfied and the fulfilment of which could cause an even more difficult economic situation in the state.

1.5. The Members of the Seimas A. Vidžiūnas and D. Jankauskas have specified that the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions were amended taking account of the deficit of the State Social Insurance Fund of 2009 and the one planned for 2010 and predicting to reach the objective to balance monetary flows which is provided for in the Crisis Management Plan prepared within the programme of the 15th Government and to ensure payment of the main state social insurance pensions, i.e. old-age and disability pensions. Thus, it was necessary to reduce the expenditure of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, and this helps to ensure payment of pensions and create the conditions to gradually pay the sums of a part of the old-age and disability pensions, without violating the balance between interests of the person and society, which is enshrined in the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of proportionality.

  1. In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing, written explanations of also the representatives of another party concerned, the Government, who were I. Šambaraitė, Deputy Head of the Legal Division of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and R. Babianskaitė, Deputy Head of the Social Insurance and Funded Pensions Division of the same ministry, were received, in which it is stated that the disputed provisions of the Regulations and the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved by the resolutions of the Government are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, is substantiated by the following arguments.

2.1. The Government, while amending, by its resolution No. 1780 of 23 December 2009, the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved its resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008, resolved regarding the groups of the determined subjects and the amount of payment of the arrears upon consideration of the funds necessary for the implementation of the Law on Amendment of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions. Without grouping the receivers of the sums of the unpaid part of the pension under any criteria, one would create such a legal norm which, due to the lack of funds and without administrative capabilities, would be impossible to implement. The maximum amount to be paid—LTL 830—is an average amount of a pension. Such legal regulation, according to the representatives of the Government, the party concerned, complies with the provisions of the constitutional doctrine that a legal norm, whereby the state undertakes a corresponding obligation, must be grounded on material and financial resources; otherwise this legal norm becomes ineffective, it is impossible to make use of it. By the disputed legal regulation established in the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure one does not violate the legitimate expectations of a person and his right to ownership as the monetary payment of the corresponding amount is continued to be paid and the term of the refund of a part of the unpaid pension is regulated by means of a law.

2.2. By means of Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations approved by the disputed the Government resolution No. 1156 of 18 November 1994, one seeks to implement the measures provided for in the Provisional Law which are meant to overcome the difficulties which emerged during the economic crisis.

According to the representatives of the Government, the average old-age pension recalculated according to the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law decreased very slightly in comparison to previous increases: the average old-age pension decreased by about 5 per cent in comparison with the former amount of the pension in 2009, whereas in the year 2008 it was increased by 30 per cent and paid in such an amount during 2009. During the year 2009, the income of the budget of the sector of state institutions and the State Social Insurance Fund were almost 30 per cent lower than during 2008. By the established legal regulation the pensions are reduced far less than they were reduced previously (before the increase in 2008) even though the economic and financial indicators of the state are substantially worse than in 2008. In the opinion of the representatives of the Government, this proves that actually the reduction of pensions was not bigger than it is necessary to achieve the goals which are important to society—to preserve the stability of public finances and the national currency, as well as the purchasing power, and to gain control over the growth of the deficit and debt. According to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, even the reduced pensions depend on the same indicators that were important before the reduction, i.e. on the amount of the basic pension, on the amount of the received insured income and the work record. Through the insured income and the indicator of the work record one takes account of the fact how long and of what amount were the contributions that the person paid while being able to work.


III

At the Constitutional Court hearing, the judge E. Spruogis, the representative of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in the petition of the petitioner and answered the questions of the justices of the Constitutional Court.

The representatives of the Seimas, a party concerned, who were V. V. Margevičienė and D. Jankauskas, as well as the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, who were I. Šambaraitė and R. Babianskaitė, assented to the arguments set forth in their written explanations and also answered the questions of the justices of the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

  1. On 9 December 2009, the Seimas adopted the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which came into force on 1 January 2010, with the exception of Article 16 thereof, which came into force on 24 December 2009.
  2. While assessing the compliance of the provisions of the Provisional Law, which are being disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, with the Constitution, one needs to take account inter alia of the social and economic context of the adoption of this law as well as of the overall legal regulation laid down in this law.
  3. The Preamble to the Provisional Law provides: “The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, holding that the forecasts for the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund suggest a constantly increasing deficit, which is caused by the crisis facing the economy of Lithuania; emphasising the necessity to stabilise the growth of deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund and to balance flows of money; seeking to protect, as much as possible, groups of socially sensitive persons and to ensure timely payments during the period of economic crisis; and taking into consideration the fact that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has held more than once that in exceptional cases, when there is an extraordinary situation in the state (an economic crisis, natural disaster, etc.) and it is impossible to accumulate the amount of funds that is necessary for the payment of payments, the legal regulation of the relations of payments may be corrected and payments may, temporarily, as long as there is an extraordinary situation in the state, be reduced to the extent that is necessary in order to ensure the vital interests of society and protect other constitutional values, hereby adopts this Provisional Law.”

Thus, the Provisional Law, as it is stated in the Preamble thereto, was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis, as well as to protect, as much as possible, groups of socially sensitive persons and to ensure timely payments during the period of economic crisis.

  1. Article 1 “The Purpose and Application of the Law” of the Provisional Law prescribes:

“1. This Law shall lay down the procedure for the recalculation of social payments (state pensions, other payments enumerated in Items 1-4 of Paragraph 2 of this Article, state social insurance pensions) and for the payment thereof to persons who have the insured income, the procedure for the recalculation of social insurance benefits of maternity, paternity, maternity (paternity) and unemployment as well as payments of maternity (paternity), the procedure for the establishment of a new maximum size of remuneration subject to compensation for the purpose of calculation of social insurance benefits, as well as the conditions of payment of the child benefit and the sizes thereof.

  1. This Law shall apply to persons who receive the following social payments:

1) the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, the Republic of Lithuania Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Republic of Lithuania Law on the State Pensions of Judges, and the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists;

2) the compensatory payments awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on Theatres and Concert Establishments;

3) the annuities awarded and paid under the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Status of the Signatories of the Act of the Independence of Lithuania and the Republic of Lithuania Law on Physical Education and Sport;

4) the relief compensations for the persons of working age who are capable of working <...> and target compensations for nursing or attendance (assistance) expenses awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Relief Payments;

5) the state social insurance pensions of old-age, early old-age and of lost capacity to work (disability) (with the exception of the pensions awarded to persons who have lost 75–100 per cent of their capacity to work (Group I disability pensions)), the retirement pensions exceeding the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, the state social insurance orphans’ pensions (pensions of loss of the breadwinner) exceeding half of the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, the state social insurance survivors’ pensions and compensations for special working conditions awarded and/or paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance Pensions <...> and the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Early Payment of State Social Insurance Old-age Pensions <...>;

6) the sickness, professional rehabilitation, maternity, paternity, maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance <...>;

7) the sickness social insurance benefits awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on Social Insurance of Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases <...>;

8) the maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid for statutory state servants (officials) and servicemen of the national defence system from funds of the state budget under the special legal acts regulating their professional activities;

9) the child benefit awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Benefits to Families Raising Children;

10) the unemployment social insurance payment awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on Unemployment Social Insurance.”

Thus, the purpose of the Provisional Law is to lay down the procedure for the recalculation and payment of various social payments, inter alia state and state social insurance pensions. Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law establishes as to which groups of persons, who receive concrete social payments, the provisions of this law, under which the enumerated social payments are recalculated, are applied.

  1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that the aforementioned procedure for the recalculation and payment of social payments was established by taking into account the economic and financial situation that had emerged in the state. In the explanatory note to Draft Provisional Law No. XIP-1238 it is inter alia indicated that by means of this law it was sought “to create an opportunity to partially balance the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, <...> to reduce the expenditures on state social insurance pensions and social insurance payments of sickness and maternity” and, “while taking account of the fact that state pensions, annuities and compensations, which are paid from the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania, constitute, as a rule, supplementary payments, <...> to reduce the expenditures from the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania allocated for the payment of these supplementary payments”.

Thus, from the intentions of the legislator recorded in the travaux préparatoires it is clear that by means of the said law it was sought to reduce the expenditures from the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, by establishing, for that purpose, such legal regulation whereby inter alia state and state social insurance pensions would be reduced.

  1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that, under the Provisional Law:

– the marginal amount of the state pension is an amount whereby the state pensions not exceeding that amount are not, according to Annex 1 of the Provisional Law, recalculated (Paragraph 3 of Article 2);

– the marginal amounts of the state pension are approved by the Government, by taking into account the revenues and expenditures of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund and those of the state budget of the corresponding year or corresponding period of the year (Paragraph 2 of Article 3);

– the marginal amount of the state pension is not applied to the receivers of state pensions who at the same time receive the state social insurance pension of old-age or of lost capacity to work (disability) as well as to receivers of state survivors’ and orphans’ pensions (Paragraph 4 of Article 4);

– if an amount of the state pension recalculated according to Annex 1 of this law is lower than, or is equal to, the marginal amount of the state pension, a state pension of the marginal amount of the state pension is paid (Paragraph 5 of Article 4);

– the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension is an amount whereby the receiver of the state social insurance pension recalculated in accordance with this law and not exceeding that amount is paid a compensatory supplement (Paragraph 4 of Article 2);

– the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension is LTL 650 (Paragraph 1 of Article 3);

– the persons the amount of whose state social insurance pension prior to the recalculation of this pension exceeded the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, but after recalculating this pension the amount of whose state social insurance pension is lower than the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, are paid the compensatory supplement equal to the difference between the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension and the amount of the recalculated state social insurance pension (Paragraph 1 of Article 7); the other paragraphs of Article 7 set the procedure for recalculating and compensating other social payments.

While summing it up, it needs to be held that the Provisional Law establishes that the state and state social insurance pensions not exceeding the marginal amount of pensions may not be reduced even when there is an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state.

The law in question also provides that if, after recalculating the state social insurance pensions the amount of which prior to their recalculation exceeded LTL 650, the amount of these pensions becomes lower than the set marginal amount, then a compensatory supplement is paid of such an amount so that the pension is equal to LTL 650, i.e. state social insurance pensions may not be reduced below LTL 650; if, after recalculating state pensions, the amount of these pensions becomes lower than, or is equal to, the set marginal amount, then such state pensions may not be reduced more than to the set marginal amount.

  1. Article 15 “The Entry into Force and Application of the Law” of the Provisional Law prescribed: “This law, save Article 16 thereof, shall come into force on 1 January 2010 and shall be valid until 31 December 2011.”

Thus, Article 15 of the Provisional Law established a time-limited validity of provisions of this law, i.e. the fact that the procedure, laid down by this law, for the recalculation and payment of social payments, inter alia state and state social insurance pensions, which implied the reduction of these payments, was applicable from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011.

Article 15 of the Provisional Law was amended and supplemented inter alia by the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which was adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 2010 and came into force on 20 July 2010, however, the legal regulation of importance for the constitutional justice case at issue was not amended by that law, i.e. the provision that the procedure for the recalculation and payment of awarded social payments is applied from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011 was left in Article 15 (wording of 2 July 2010 m) of the Provisional Law.

Article 15 (wording of 2 July 2010) of the Provisional Law was also amended by the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which was adopted by the Seimas on 20 December 2011 and came into force on 28 December 2011.

Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law inter alia prescribes:

“This law, save Article 16 thereof, shall come into force on 1 January 2010 and shall be valid:

1) with respect to the relief compensations specified in Item 4 and the payments specified in Items 5–9 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of this law—until 31 December 2011;

2) with respect to the payments specified in Items 1, 2 and 3, the target compensations for nursing and attendance (assistance) expenses specified in Item 4 and the payment specified in Item 10 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of this law—until 31 December 2012 <...>”.

Having compared the legal regulation laid down in Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law with the legal regulation laid down in Article 15 (wording of 2 July 2010) of the Provisional Law, it is clear that, by provisions of Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law, with respect to certain social payments, inter alia state social insurance pensions, the time limit for the validity of the Provisional Law was not changed, i.e. it was established that these social payments are recalculated (reduced) until 31 December 2011, whereas with respect to certain social payments, inter alia state pensions, the time limit for the validity of the Provisional Law was extended for one more budget year—until 31 December 2012.

While summing it up, it needs to be noted that from the title of the law itself, the provisions of Article 15 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 2 July 2010 and 20 December 2011) and the travaux préparatoires of this law it is clear that the procedure for the recalculation and payment of social payments laid down by the Provisional Law is applied only temporarily. This means that upon the expiry of the established period of time the legal regulation applicable prior to the coming into force of provisions of the Provisional Law will be applied.

  1. Article 16 “Proposals for the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Provisional Law prescribes:

“1. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania or the institutions authorised by it shall, by 1 January 2010, prepare and adopt the legal acts necessary for the implementation of this law.

  1. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania or the institutions authorised by it, after assessing the economic indicators of Lithuania, which determine the development of the economy of Lithuania, as well as the situation of the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania and that of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, shall, by 1 July 2010, submit proposals for the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the time limit for the validity of this law.
  2. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall, by 1 March 2010, approve the concept of the reorganisation of the system of social insurance and pensions.
  3. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall, by 1 July 2010, prepare and approve the inventory schedule of the procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work”.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that in Article 16 of the Provisional Law the legislator proposed the Government or the institutions authorised by it to inter alia prepare and adopt the legal acts necessary for the implementation of this law. In Paragraph 4 of the said article the Government was proposed to prepare and approve, by 1 July 2010, the inventory schedule of the procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work.

In this context it needs to be noted that in its ruling of 29 June 2010 the Constitutional Court inter alia held that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is to be construed as meaning that the Government is proposed to prepare and approve the inventory schedule of a such procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work that would include no essential elements of compensation for pensions: grounds, sizes, etc.; these elements of compensation for reduced pensions must be established by means of the law by the legislator; only if understood in this way the said legal regulation is not in conflict with the Constitution.

  1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, while summing up what has been set forth, it needs to be noted that the Provisional Law, as it is stated in the Preamble thereto, was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis. The said law, while taking account of an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state and while seeking to protect, as much as possible, groups of socially sensitive persons, laid down such a procedure for the recalculation and payment of social payments that implied the reduction of awarded social payments; at the same time such marginal amounts of state and state social insurance pensions were established so that the pensions not exceeding those amounts could not be reduced even in the event of an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state, whereas those pensions that exceeded the established marginal amounts and whose reduction was allowed, could not be reduced more than to the corresponding established marginal amount.

It also needs to be noted that in the Provisional Law it was established that this law is applied only temporarily. In addition, in the Provisional Law the Government was proposed to prepare and approve the inventory schedule of the procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work.

  1. In this context it needs to be noted that alongside the Provisional Law, on the same day, i.e. 1 January 2010, the amendments of other legal acts relating to the Provisional Law, inter alia the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3, 6, 8 and 15 of the Law on State Pensions (which was adopted on 8 December 2009) and the Law on the Amendment of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions (which was adopted on 8 December 2009), also came into force. Thus, the provisions of these legal acts, the compliance whereof with the Constitution is also being disputed by petitioners in the constitutional justice case at issue, are to be assessed in the general context of their adoption, i.e. while taking account of the fact that they were adopted upon the occurrence of an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state.

II

  1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia:

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions of officials and servicemen, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petitions Nos. 1B-49/2010, 1B-53/2010);

– the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petitions Nos. 1B-54/2010, 1B-55/2010, 1B-60/2010, 1B-61/2010, 1B-88/2010, 1B-89/2010, 1B-90/2010, 1B-101/2010, 1B-121/2010);

– Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-91/2010);

1.1. It needs to be noted that the legal regulation relating to compensation for reduced pensions is entrenched only in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, wherein it is prescribed: “Until 1 July 2010, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall prepare and approve the inventory schedule of the procedure for compensation for the reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work”. It is obvious from the titles and contents of other articles of the Provisional Law that they do not include any provisions whereby one regulates the compensation of pensions.

1.2. In its Ruling “On the compliance of Articles 5 and 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the State Pensions of Judges, Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, and Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 and Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 29 June 2010, the Constitutional Court inter alia recognised that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it is not proposed to the Government that the inventory schedule of the procedure for compensation of the state pensions reduced to a large extent be prepared and approved, was in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

This ruling of the Constitutional Court was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and came into force on 16 November 2010.

1.3. It needs to be held that the compliance of the legal regulation, which is disputed in the said petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, and whereby one does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, with the Constitution, has been investigated by the Constitutional Court, and the Constitutional Court ruling adopted on the matter in question remains in force.

Under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, by a decision, the Constitutional Court shall refuse to consider petitions to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, if the compliance of the legal act with the Constitution specified in the petition has already been investigated by the Constitutional Court and the ruling on this issue adopted by the Constitutional Court is still in force, while under Paragraph 3 of this law, in the event that the grounds for refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the investigation of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case shall be adopted.

1.4. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to dismiss the part of the constitutional justice case at issue subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions of officials and servicemen, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

  1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requests (petition No. 1B-21/2011) to investigate whether inter alia Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine, whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, also whether Paragraph 4 of this article, are not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2.1. On 25 October 2001, the Constitutional Court adopted the Ruling “On the compliance of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” in which it recognised that Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it does not establish that a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its entry into force, is not in conflict with the Constitution, as well as it dismissed the part of the case regarding the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 4 of Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it does not explicitly establish what types of decisions are entrenched in the formulations “decisions <…> must not be executed” and “if they had not been executed” is not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

This ruling of the Constitutional Court was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and came into force on 27 October 2011.

It needs to be noted that the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, regarding Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court and Paragraph 4 of this article with the Constitution are analogous in the already investigated case and in the constitutional justice case at issue.

2.2. It needs to be held that the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, is disputing the same legal regulation which is entrenched in Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, the compliance whereof with the Constitution has been investigated by the Constitutional Court, and the Constitutional Court ruling adopted on the matter in question remains in force.

It has been mentioned that, under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, by a decision, the Constitutional Court shall refuse to consider petitions to investigate the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution, if the compliance of the legal act with the Constitution specified in the petition has already been investigated by the Constitutional Court and the ruling on this issue adopted by the Constitutional Court is still in force, while under Paragraph 3 of this law, in the event that the grounds for refusal to consider a petition have been established after the commencement of the investigation of the case during the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case shall be adopted.

2.3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, the part of the constitutional justice case at issue subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Article 72 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine, whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, also whether Paragraph 4 of this article, are not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, is to be dismissed.

  1. Even though the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, a petitioner, requests (petition No. 1B-40/2011) to investigate whether Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it did not establish that this law shall not apply to persons receiving the state social insurance old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, was not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution, it is obvious from the petition that it is disputing the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, insofar as having established in this law that it does not apply to the receivers of the pensions who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (the pensioners of Disability Group I), one did not establish that this law shall not apply to the persons receiving the state social insurance old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, with Article 29 of the Constitution.
  2. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requests (petition No. 1B-31/2011) to investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution, the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as the compliance of Annex 1 of this law, insofar as it establishes an uneven scale of reduction of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, with Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. In this context it needs to be noted that Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law includes a direct reference to Annex 1 of this law. Thus, the request of the petitioner to investigate the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law encompasses its request to investigate the compliance of Annex 1 of this law with Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. Even though the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requests (petitions Nos. 1B-55/2010, 1B-60/2010, 1B-61/2010, 1B-79/2010, 1B-87/2010, 1B-95/2010, 1B-96/2010, 1B-101/2010, 1B-110/2010, 1B-111/2010, 1B-121/2010) to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under the procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, are paid the part of pensions calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it is obvious from the petitions that it is disputing the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, with Article 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  4. Even though the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it applies to persons who receive state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-53/2010), whether this paragraph, insofar as it establishes that the receivers of the state pensions recalculated under the procedure established in Article 4 of this law, the awarding and/or payment of which is not related to the insured income of the person, who are covered by the state social pensions insurance according to Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, during the period of their insurance by the state social pensions insurance are paid 50 per cent of the payment belonging to them, is not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petitions Nos. 1B-54/2010 and 1B-88/2010), as well as whether this paragraph is not in conflict with Articles 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petitions Nos. 1B-123/2010 and 1B-137/2010), it is obvious from the petitions that the petitioner is disputing the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of state pensions, with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  5. Even though the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-129/2010, 1B-15/2011), a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the receivers of the state social insurance old-age pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this law, who (upon awarding of a pension) are insured by the obligatory state social pensions insurance (with the exception of persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and who have the insured income, are paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the preceding calendar month, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights, and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law is not in conflict with Articles 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-149/2010), whether this paragraph, insofar as it provides for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded old-age pensions, was not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 and Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petitions Nos. 1B-155/2010, 1B-6/2011, 1B-21/2011), as well as whether this paragraph (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 26 October 2010), insofar as it establishes that the receivers of the state social insurance old-age pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this law, who (upon awarding of a pension) are (or were) insured by the obligatory state social pensions insurance (according to Items 1, 3, 4, 5 and 13 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and who have (had in the preceding calendar month) the insured income, are paid a part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the preceding calendar month, was (is) not in conflict with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (petition No. 1B-47/2011), it is obvious from the petitions that the petitioners are disputing the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state social insurance old-age pensions, with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  6. Even though the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-123/2010, 1B-137/2010), a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Provisional Law is not in conflict with Articles 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it is obvious from the petitions that it is disputing the compliance of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state social insurance old-age pensions, with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  7. Even though the Kaunas Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-141/2010, 1B-158/2010) and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-159/2010, 1B-1/2011, 1B-21/2011), petitioners, request to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, the compensation for the reduced pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it is obvious from the petitions that the petitioners are disputing the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, the compensation for the reduced state social insurance old-age pensions, with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  8. Even though the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-49/2010), a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Article 1 of the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3, 6, 8, and 15 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as after this law amended the Law on State Pensions, Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the latter law established that “the amount of the established state pension as well as the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person under Paragraph 1 of this Article may not exceed per person the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid”, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it is obvious from the petition that the petitioner is disputing the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  9. It needs to be noted that in its Ruling “On the compliance of Articles 5 and 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the State Pensions of Judges, Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, and Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 and Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania” of 29 June 2010, the Constitutional Court recognised that the provision “The sum total of the size of each state <…> pension established in Items 1–5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law and the state pensions awarded under Paragraph 1 of this article and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person may not exceed per person the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, to the extent that the formula “of each state <…> pension established in Items 1–5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law” included the state pension of judges established in Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, was in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

This ruling of the Constitutional Court was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and came into force on 16 November 2010.

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, every legal act (or part thereof) passed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic, or the Government, or adopted by referendum, which is recognised as being in conflict with  any legal act of higher power, inter alia (and, first of all) with the Constitution, is removed from the Lithuanian legal system for good, as it may never be applied anymore (Constitutional Court rulings of 28 March 2006, 6 June 2006 and 25 October 2011, decisions of 8 August 2006 and 1 February 2008). A constitutional duty arises to a corresponding law-making subject—the Seimas, the President of the Republic, or the Government—to recognise such a legal act (part thereof) as no longer valid or, if it is impossible to do that without the corresponding legal regulation of the social relations in question, to change it so that the newly established legal regulation is not in conflict with legal acts of higher power, inter alia (and, first of all) the Constitution; but even until this constitutional duty is carried out, the corresponding legal act (part thereof) may not be applied under any circumstances; in this respect the legal power of such legal act is abolished (Constitutional Court decisions of 8 August 2006 and 1 February 2008).

Thus, upon coming into force of the Constitutional Court ruling of 29 June 2010 on 16 November 2010, the legal power of the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 August 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it had been recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, was abolished; this legal regulation was removed from the Lithuanian legal system for good.

  1. Even though the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-129/2010, 1B-24/2011), a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Law on Payment of Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as the sum of a part of an old-age pension calculated in this paragraph is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, and whether Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved by Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008, insofar as this item establishes that persons who had reached the age of 65 years and over on 1 January 2008, provided the calculated sum of a part of the pension exceeds LTL 100, are paid, in June 2009, 50 per cent of the sum calculated for the person, but not more than LTL 830, while the remaining part of the calculated sum is paid in June 2012, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights, and the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-132/2010), a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Law on Payment of Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions and Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved by Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008 are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it is obvious from the petitions that they, as well as the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-4/2011), a petitioner, are disputing the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Law on Payment of Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as it establishes that the sum of a part of the calculated old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008–2012, as well as of Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved by Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008, insofar as it establishes that the payment of the sum of a part of the old-age pension, which had remained unpaid, has been moved from the year 2010 to the year 2012, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. Even though the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-129/2010, 1B-15/2011), a petitioner, requests to investigate whether inter alia Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1156 of 18 December 1994, insofar as the old-age pension is recalculated according to the procedure established in Article 6 of the Provisional Law if the amount of the old-age pension awarded to a person exceeds the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights, it is obvious from the petitions, that the petitioner is disputing the compliance of Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1156 of 18 December 1994, insofar as this item establishes the legal regulation whereby one implements the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. Taking account of the arguments and contents of the petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court will investigate the following:

– the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, insofar as having established in this law that it does not apply to the receivers of the pensions who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (the pensioners of Disability Group I), one did not establish that this law shall not apply to the persons receiving the state social insurance old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, with Article 29 of the Constitution;

– the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the recalculation of state pensions, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, with Article 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of state pensions, with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the recalculation (reduction) of the state social insurance old-age pensions awarded before coming into force of this law, with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of Provisional Law, insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any compensation for the reduced state social insurance old-age pensions, with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it includes the state pensions established in Items 1–4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Law on Payment of Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as it establishes that the sum of a part of the calculated old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008–2012, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions approved by Government Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008, insofar as it establishes that the payment of the sum of a part of the old-age pension, which had remained unpaid, has been moved from the year 2010 to the year 2012, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the compliance of Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions approved by Government resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994, insofar as it established the legal regulation whereby one implemented the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.


III

  1. In the constitutional justice case at issue, it is requested to investigate the compliance of the provisions of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments and other legal acts, whereby one regulates the recalculation and payment of the state social insurance old-age pensions and state pensions in an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is a universal principle, upon which the entire legal system of Lithuania and the Constitution itself are based, that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is to be construed inseparably from the striving for an open, just and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law, which is declared in the Preamble to the Constitution, and that the content of the aforementioned constitutional principle reveals itself in various provisions of the Constitution. The essence of this principle is the rule of law. The constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is especially capacious, it comprises a range of various interrelated imperatives. The constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law must be followed both in law-making and implementation of law.

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that inseparable elements of the principle of a state under the rule of law are the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security. The constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security imply the obligation of the state to secure the certainty and stability of the legal regulation, to protect the rights of persons, to respect the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations. These principles inter alia imply that the state must fulfil all its undertaken obligations to the person. If the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and legal security were not secured, the trust of the person in the state and law would not be guaranteed.

The Constitutional Court has also held that the principle of proportionality as one of the elements of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law means that the measures provided for in the law must be in line with the legitimate objectives which are important to society, that these measures must be necessary in order to reach these objectives, and that these measures do not have to restrain the rights and freedoms of a person clearly more than necessary in order to reach these objectives.

The content of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is to be disclosed while taking account of various provisions of the Constitution, while evaluating all the values entrenched in, and protected and defended by the Constitution, and while taking account of the content of various other constitutional principles, such as justice (comprising inter alia natural justice), social solidarity (comprised with responsibility of everyone for his own fate), equality of persons before the law, court, state institutions and officials, and other constitutional principles of no less importance (Constitutional Court ruling of 13 December 2004, decision of 20 April 2010).

  1. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that justice is one of the basic objectives of law, as the means of regulation of social relations. It is one of basic moral values and one of basic foundations of a state under the rule of law. Justice may be implemented by ensuring certain equilibrium of interests, by escaping fortuity and arbitrariness, instability of social life and conflict of interests.
  2. The constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is also inseparable from the principle of equal rights of persons consolidated inter alia in Article 29 of the Constitution. The violation of the constitutional principle of equal rights of persons at the same time is the violation of the constitutional imperatives of justice and harmonious society, thus, the violation of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court has held more than once that the constitutional principle of equality of persons must be followed in the course of both enactment of laws and their application; the constitutional principle of equality of persons before the law means the innate right of the person to be treated equally with the others and obliges to assess the homogenous facts in the same manner and prohibits to arbitrarily assess the facts, which are the same in essence, in a different manner.

The constitutional principle of equal rights of persons would be violated if certain persons or groups thereof were treated in a different manner, even though there are not any differences in their character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment could be objectively justified. As it has been held more than once in the acts of the Constitutional Court, this principle does not in itself deny an opportunity to establish diverse and differentiated legal regulation by means of legislation with respect to certain persons that belong to different categories, if there are differences between these persons of such a character that objectively justify such differentiated regulation. However, as it has been held by the Constitutional Court, the differentiated legal regulation, when it is applied to certain groups of persons which are distinguished by the same signs, and in case it is striving for positive and socially meaningful goals, or if the establishment of certain limitations or conditions is linked with the peculiarities of regulated social relations, in itself is not to be regarded as discrimination. It has been emphasised more than once in the acts of the Constitutional Court that while assessing whether an established different legal regulation is a grounded one, concrete legal circumstances must be taken into account; first of all, differences of the legal situation of subjects and objects to which different legal regulation is applied must be assessed.

  1. Under the Constitution, the State of Lithuania is socially oriented. The social orientation of the state is reflected in various provisions of the Constitution which consolidate economic, social and cultural, as well as civil and political rights of a human being, the relations between the society and the state, the bases of social assistance and social security, the principles of organisation and regulation of the national economy, the bases of organisation and activity of state institutions, etc. (Constitutional Court ruling of 5 March 2004). The Constitutional Court has held more than once that the socially oriented state is under constitutional obligation and it must undertake the burden of fulfilment of certain commitments.

The social solidarity principle entrenched in the Constitution implies that the burden of fulfilment of certain obligations to certain extent should be distributed also among members of society, however, such distribution should be constitutionally reasoned, it cannot be disproportionate, it cannot deny the social orientation of the state and the obligations to the state, which arise from the Constitution (Constitutional Court rulings of 7 June 2007, 26 September 2007, 29 June 2010, decision of 20 April 2010).

5.1. While forming the official constitutional doctrine of a socially oriented state, inter alia disclosing the imperatives which stem from the Constitution and which must be heeded when the relations of pensions are regulated by legal acts, the Constitutional Court has held the following (inter alia Constitutional Court rulings of 22 October 2007, 24 December 2008, 2 September 2009, decision of 20 April 2010):

– the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution express the social orientation (social character) of the state, while the social maintenance, i.e. contribution of the society to maintenance of such its members who are incapable of providing themselves from work or other means or who are not sufficiently provided due to important reasons provided by law, is recognised as having the status of a constitutional value; the measures of social security express the idea of social solidarity and help a person to protect himself from possible social risks; the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution guaranteeing citizens’ right to social maintenance, obligate the state to establish sufficient measures to implement and legally protect the said right; the state should create a system of social maintenance which would help to maintain living conditions corresponding to personal dignity, and, in case of need, would render a person necessary social help;

– Article 52 of the Constitution sets the bases of pensionary maintenance; according to this article of the Constitution, while implementing the constitutional principle of public solidarity and by helping a person to protect himself from the possible social risks and at the same time creating preconditions for every member of the society to take care of his own welfare (and not only to trust in the state social security), the legislator must establish, by law, the old-age and disability pensions as well as social assistance in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, loss of the breadwinner; under the Constitution, the law may also establish pensions or social assistance in addition to those specified in Article 52 of the Constitution;

– the right of a person to social security is to be interpreted in accordance with the imperatives of social harmony and justice which are entrenched in the Constitution, as well as constitutional principles of equal rights of persons and proportionality;

– the principle of solidarity in the civil society does not deny personal responsibility for one’s own fate, therefore, the legal regulation of the social security should be such as to create preconditions for each member of the society to take care of one’s own welfare, but not to rely solely on the social security guaranteed by the state; the social support should not create preconditions for a person not to seek a higher income and not to search for possibilities to ensure to oneself and one’s family by one’s own effort the living conditions that are in line with human dignity; social support should not become a privilege; the recognition of mutual responsibility of a person and the society is important in ensuring social harmony, guaranteeing freedom of a person and possibility to protect oneself from difficulties which could not be overcome by one person alone;

– the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution imply a duty of the legislator to establish the legal regulation which would ensure the accumulation of funds necessary for pensions and social assistance and the payment of these pensions and rendering of social assistance; on the other hand, the burden of the obligations undertaken by the state falls upon entire society, therefore the said legal regulation should create preconditions to distribute (of course, by taking account inter alia of the constitutional principle of solidarity, the constitutional imperatives of social harmony and justice) the corresponding burden that has fallen upon the state among members of society, however, it must be distributed in such a manner that the fulfilment of the duty to pay state social insurance contributions would not become an overly heavy burden and the person, due to the fact that he is fulfilling this duty, would not become the one who needs social assistance himself;

– under the Constitution, the grounds for pensionary maintenance, the persons who are awarded and paid pensions, the conditions for awarding and payment of pensions, as well as the amounts of pensions are established by law only;

– the formula “the state shall guarantee” as employed in Article 52 of the Constitution means inter alia that pensions and various types of social assistance are guaranteed for the persons on the bases and by the amounts that are established in laws, while the persons who meet the conditions provided by the law, have the right to demand that the state award and pay this pension to them; after the types of pensions, the persons entitled to the pension, the grounds and conditions of awarding and paying pensions, and their amounts have been established by laws, a duty arises for the state to follow the constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations and legal certainty in the area of pensionary maintenance relations;

– sub-statutory acts may establish only the procedure of implementation of the laws regulating the relations of social security; the sub-statutory legal regulation of these relations may comprise the establishment of respective procedures, as well as such legal regulation based on laws where the need to provide more details about and particularise in sub-statutory legal acts the legal regulation established by laws is objectively caused by the necessity in the law-making process to lean upon special knowledge or special (professional) competence in a certain area.

5.2. In the acts of the Constitutional Court, it has been held more than once that the right to demand for the payments of pensionary maintenance which are established in the Constitution and the laws that are not in conflict with the latter arises from Article 52 of the Constitution, while the proprietary aspects of this right are defended under Article 23 thereof (Constitutional Court rulings of 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, 22 October 2007, 24 December 2008, and decision of 20 April 2010); the persons who have been awarded and paid a pension established by the Constitution or the law, under Article 23 of the Constitution, have the right to demand that the payments be paid further to them in the amounts which were awarded and paid previously (Constitutional Court rulings of 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, 24 December 2008, 2 September 2009, decision of 20 April 2010). In this context, it needs to be noted that the concept of the constitutional right to a pension as a periodic monetary payment may not be identified with the concept of the right of ownership in the ordinary law, inter alia civil law.

5.3. One of the types of pensions specified expressis verbis in Article 52 of the Constitution is an old-age pension. Under Article 52 of the Constitution, the age upon reaching which a person has the right to receive an old-age pension, the grounds for awarding and payment of such a pension, the conditions and amounts thereof must be established by law; while establishing this, the legislator must heed the norms and principles of the Constitution (Constitutional Court rulings of 25 November 2002, 3 December 2003, 22 October 2007, decision of 20 April 2010). The person who meets the conditions established by law in order to receive the old-age pension, and who has been awarded and paid this pension, has the right to a monetary payment of a respective amount, i.e. the right to possession; this right must be protected and safeguarded also under Article 23 of the Constitution (Constitutional Court rulings of 25 November 2002, 3 December 2003, and 13 December 2004, decision of 20 April 2010). The Constitutional Court has more than once drawn the attention to the fact that payment of social insurance contributions entails the right of the person to receive an old-age person of respective amount and it is not allowed that this amount does not depend on the amounts of contributions that have been paid (Constitutional Court rulings of 25 November 2002, 3 December 2003, and 26 September 2007, decision of 20 April 2010); the amounts of social insurance contributions are the basis for the differentiation of the amounts of old-age pensions (Constitutional Court ruling of 25 November 2002, decision of 20 April 2010).

5.4. The Constitutional Court has held that the state pensions which are not directly named in Article 52 of the Constitution differ in their nature and character from the state social insurance pensions: they are awarded to persons for their service or merits to the State of Lithuania, as well as a compensation to victims specified in the law and they are paid from the State Budget (Constitutional Court rulings of 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, 22 October 2007, 24 December 2008, 29 June 2010, decision of 20 April 2010); the receipt of these pensions is linked not with the social insurance pension contributions of an established size, but with a corresponding status of the person (service, merits or other circumstances upon which awarding of the state pension depends); the peculiarities of state pensions permit the legislator, taking account of all the significant circumstances and heeding the norms and principles of the Constitution, to establish the corresponding conditions for awarding of this pension (Constitutional Court rulings of 24 December 2008, 29 June 2010, decision of 20 April 2010); the discretion of the legislator, while establishing awarding of the state pensions, is broader than while regulating other pensions, the conditions for awarding state pensions may be very different and depend on inter alia the peculiarities of the state service and economic resources of the state (Constitutional Court decision of 24 December 2008); by means of the law, the legislator may establish the maximum amount of such pensions, as well as entrench various ways for establishment of the maximum amount of such a pension; on the other hand, in the case of the state pensions, the provision regarding the obligation undertaken by the state by law to award and pay the corresponding pension to the person who meets the conditions established by the law and regarding the right of the said person to demand that the state fulfil such an obligation undertaken by the law, is also effective (Constitutional Court rulings of 22 October 2007, 29 June 2010, decision of 20 April 2010).

5.5. In the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, it has also been held more than once that while regulating the pensionary relations, one must heed Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, which inter alia enshrines the opportunity of a human being to choose a job and business at his own discretion (i.e. by his own free decision); the constitutional freedom of each human being to choose a job and business implies a duty of the legislator to create legal preconditions to implement this freedom; the official constitutional doctrine of human rights is also based on the principle provision that, under the Constitution, one may not establish any such legal regulation whereby a person, while implementing one constitutional right, would lose the possibility to implement another constitutional right; thus, under the Constitution, it is not permitted to establish the legal regulation under which an opportunity for the person who has been awarded and paid an old-age pension, would be restricted, due to this, to freely choose a job and business, although he meets the conditions provided for by law so that he would have a certain job or conduct a certain business; the legal regulation under which the person cannot freely choose a job and business due to the fact that upon the implementation of this right he would not be paid the awarded old-age pension or part thereof which was paid until then, also must be considered as a restriction of an opportunity to freely choose a job or business; this provision is to be applied mutatis mutandis to other kinds of pensions, inter alia the state pensions provided for in the law (Constitutional Court ruling of 22 October 2007, decision of 20 April 2010).

  1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be emphasised that as it was held in the Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010, the requirements which stem from the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, equality of rights, justice, proportionality, protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, legal security and social solidarity, as well as other constitutional imperatives, must be heeded also when there is an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis etc.) due to which the economic and financial situation in the state, despite various other measures which are applied for overcoming the economic crisis, has changed to the extent that inter alia the accumulation of the funds necessary for the payment of pensions is not secured and due to this the legal regulation is corrected by reducing the pensions.

It needs to be noted that, in its final acts, the Constitutional Court has revealed quite a few requirements which stem from the Constitution and which must be heeded while correcting the legal regulation of pensionary maintenance relations in an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state.

6.1. The Constitutional Court has held more than once that there might occur such an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis, etc.) when there is objective lack of funds for the payment of pensions and that in such extraordinary cases the legal regulation of pensionary relations may be corrected also by reducing pensions to the extent that it is necessary to ensure vitally important interests of society and protect other constitutional values; the reduced pensions may only be paid on a temporary basis, i.e. only when there is an extraordinary situation in the state (Constitutional Court rulings of 25 November 2002, 4 July 2003, 3 December 2004, 13 December 2004, 24 December 2008, decision of 20 April 2010).

6.2. The Constitutional Court has emphasised that in itself the occurrence of an especially grave economic and financial situation (due to an economic crisis) in the state does not presuppose the right of the legislator to correct the legal regulation of pensionary relations—to reduce the awarded and paid pensions; when there is an especially grave economic and financial situation, the state must take all possible measures in order to overcome the economic crisis and to secure the accumulation of the funds necessary for payment of pensions; only in an exceptional case, when it is impossible to accumulate (one does not succeed in accumulating) the amount of the funds necessary to pay the pensions after all internal and external opportunities have been used, the pensionary legal regulation may be corrected by reducing the pensions (Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010). Even in such exceptional cases the awarded and paid pensions may not be reduced in violation of the balance of the interests of the person and society, which is entrenched in the Constitution, i.e. the constitutional principle of proportionality (Constitutional Court rulings of 25 November 2002, 4 July 2003, 3 December 2003, 13 December 2004, 24 December 2008, decision of 20 April 2010).

As it was held in the Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010, the principle of proportionality implies that the reduction of awarded and paid pensions must be in line with the legitimate objectives which are important to society, such reduction must be necessary to reach the said objectives and may not restrict the rights and freedoms of a person clearly more than necessary in order to reach these objectives.

The constitutional principle of proportionality inter alia also means that when there is a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state and when due to this there is a necessity to temporarily reduce the awarded and paid pensions in order to secure vitally important interests of society and the state and to protect other constitutional values, the legislator is under obligation to establish a uniform and non-discriminatory scale of reduction of pensions whereby the pensions would be reduced in a manner not violating the proportions of the amounts of the pensions established with regard to pensioners of the same category prior to the occurrence of the particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state (Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010).

The Constitutional Court has also held that the peculiarities of state pensions, which, in their nature and character are different from old-age pensions, as well as from disability pensions, imply that the legislator may correct the legal regulation of such pensions of different nature by reducing these pensions to greater extent than old-age and disability pensions; however, while doing so, the proportions of the amounts of state pensions established prior to the occurrence of the particularly grave economic and financial situation in the state may not be violated (Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010).

6.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that the constitutional imperatives of a state under the rule of law, justice, proportionality, equality of rights, as well as social solidarity inter alia mean that the burden of the economic and financial crisis should be evenly and proportionately shared among the entire society. Alongside, it needs to be noted that, as the Constitutional Court has held, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, equality of rights, justice and proportionality do not mean that it is not allowed to establish such a limit in the amount of the pensions below which the pensions would not be reduced even when there is a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state; while establishing this limit one has to take account of the circumstance that, under the Constitution, it is not allowed to establish any such legal regulation whereby the pension becomes reduced to an amount, where the person receiving the pension would not be secured the minimal socially acceptable needs and the living conditions compatible with human dignity; the pension which secures only minimal socially acceptable needs and the living conditions compatible with human dignity to the person who receives the pension, may not be reduced at all (Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010).

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs also to be noted that the social orientation of the state which is enshrined in the Constitution implies the discretion of the legislator, in an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state, and thus, upon occurrence of the necessity, to reduce pensions and other social payments temporarily, upon the assessment of the resources of the state and society, material and financial possibilities and other significant circumstances, to establish the exceptions to be applied also to certain other groups of socially most sensitive persons which need a special social assistance, i.e. to establish that for these groups of persons, the pensions and other social payments are not reduced, or are reduced to a smaller extent, while seeking to ensure the conditions of living in line with human dignity. While establishing these exceptions, one must follow inter alia the imperatives of a state under the rule of law, equality of rights, justice, proportionality and social solidarity which are enshrined in the Constitution.

6.4. In its decision of 20 April 2010, the Constitutional Court emphasised that also the requirement, which arises from the Constitution, not to establish the legal regulation under which an opportunity for the person who has been awarded and paid a pension, inter alia an old-age pension, would be restricted, due to this, to freely choose a job and business, although he meets the conditions provided for by law so that he would have a certain job or conduct a certain business also when there is an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis etc.) because of which pensions may be reduced, must be heeded (Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010). In this decision, it was also held that when there is an especially grave economic and financial situation in the state and when, due to this, there is a necessity temporarily to reduce the awarded and paid pensions in order to secure vitally important interests of society and the state and to protect other constitutional values, it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation whereby the old-age pension or disability pension awarded and paid to the persons who have a certain job or conduct a certain business would be reduced, due to this, to a greater extent if compared with the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business. As mentioned, the Constitutional Court has noted that the provision “also the legal regulation under which the person cannot freely choose a job and business due to the fact that upon the implementation of this right he would not be paid the awarded old-age pension or part thereof which was paid until then, also must be considered as a restriction of an opportunity to freely choose a job or business” of the official constitutional doctrine is to be applied mutatis mutandis also with regard to other pensions, inter alia state pensions provided for in the law.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be held that when there is an especially grave economic and financial situation in the state and when, due to this, there is a necessity temporarily to reduce the pensions in order to secure vitally important interests of society and the state and to protect other constitutional values, it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation whereby the state pension awarded and paid to the persons who have a certain job or conduct a certain business would be reduced, due to this, to a greater extent if compared with the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business.

6.5. In the Constitutional Court ruling of 20 April 2010, it was held that the correction of the legal regulation by reducing old-age pensions due to the fact that there is an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis etc.) means a limitation of a constitutional social guarantee of a person—the old-age pension; such legal regulation to a certain extent limits the right of ownership of the person to whom the old-age pension was awarded and paid; thus, the legislator, upon occurrence of an extreme situation, when inter alia due to an economic crisis it is impossible to accumulate the amount of the funds necessary to pay old-age pensions must, while reducing old-age pensions, provide for a mechanism of just compensation of incurred losses to the persons to whom such pensions were awarded and paid, whereby, after the said extreme situation is over, the state would undertake an obligation before such persons to compensate them, in a fair manner and within a reasonable time, the losses incurred by them due to the reduction of the old-age pension; these provisions are to be applied mutatis mutandis also with regard to the compensation for the losses which appear due to the reduction of a disability pension.

In the acts of the Constitutional Court it has also been held that the correction of the legal regulation by means of which the old-age pensions are reduced to a great extent due to the fact that, upon occurrence of an extreme situation (economic crisis etc.), the economic and financial situation becomes changed so that the accumulation of the funds necessary for payment of old-age pensions is not secured, is an essential amendment to the legal regulation of these pension; thus, the legislator, upon occurrence of an extreme situation when inter alia due to an economic crisis it is impossible to accumulate the amount of the funds necessary to pay state pensions, must, while reducing state pensions to a large extent, provide for a mechanism of just compensation of incurred losses to the persons to whom such pensions were awarded and paid, whereby, after the said extreme situation is over, the state would undertake an obligation before such persons to compensate them, in a fair manner and within a reasonable time, the losses incurred by them due to the reduction of the state pension; the peculiarities of state pensions also imply that the losses incurred due to the reduction of state pensions may be compensated to a smaller extent than the losses incurred due to the reduction of old-age or disability pensions (Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010, ruling of 29 June 2010).

In this context it needs to be emphasised that while seeking to ensure that the losses incurred due to the reduction of old-age or disability pensions, as well as the reduction of the state pensions to a great extent, would be compensated within a reasonable time and in a fair manner after the said extreme situation is over, the legislator must, without unreasonable delay, by means of a law, establish the essential elements (grounds, amounts, etc.) of compensation of the reduced pensions, on the basis of which one should prepare the procedure for compensation for the reduced pensions.

6.6. It has been mentioned that the reduced pensions may be paid only temporarily, i.e. only as long as there is an extreme situation in the state (an economic crisis, etc.), when there is an objective lack of funds, which are necessary for the payment of pensions.

In the Constitutional Court decision of 20 April 2010, it has been held that the constitutional concept of the State Budget, inter alia the constitutional institute of a budget year implies that when there is an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis etc.) due to which the economic and financial situation in the state has changed to the extent that inter alia the accumulation of the funds necessary for the payment of pensions is not secured and due to this the legal regulation has to be corrected by reducing the pensions, the reduction of the pensions is allowed for no longer than one budget year; from the constitutional institute of a budget year, a duty arises to the legislator, in the course of deliberating and approving the State Budget for the next year, to reassess the actual economic and financial situation in the state and to decide whether the said situation is still a particularly grave one, inter alia whether the collection of the State Budget revenue is still disordered to the extent that due to this the state is unable to perform the obligations undertaken by it and, due to this, whether also for the next budget year one has to establish the legal regulation whereby the reduced pensions will have to be paid.

  1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, one needs to note the international commitments of the Republic of Lithuania related to social human rights, inter alia the right to social security. It needs to be emphasised that even though each state itself establishes the concrete means whereby the social rights of a human being are implemented, inter alia the right to social security, when using this competence, the state must comply with the obligations and means for coordination of the national social security systems which are entrenched in the international legal acts.

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948 (the Republic of Lithuania has made a solemn commitment with it by inter alia the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Accession of the Republic of Lithuania to the Documents of the International Bill of Human Rights” of 12 March 1991) established that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old-age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control (Paragraph 1 of Article 25); everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realisation, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organisation and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality (Article 22).

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 19 December 1966, developing the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was joined by the Republic of Lithuania by the aforementioned Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Accession of the Republic of Lithuania to the Documents of the International Bill of Human Rights” of 12 March 1991 and became valid for the Republic of Lithuania on 20 February 1992, inter alia established that the States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions (Paragraph 1 of Article 11) and the States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance (Article 9).

Part I of the European Social Charter (revised) (hereinafter referred to as the Charter), which became valid for Lithuania (with certain exceptions) on 1 August 2001, inter alia consolidates that anyone without adequate resources has the right to social assistance (Item 13). Article 12 “The Right to Social Security” of the Charter provides that with a view to ensuring effective exercise of the right to social security, the Parties of the Charter undertake inter alia to establish or maintain a system of social security, to endeavour to raise progressively the system of social security to a higher level.

It needs to be noted that due to their nature, economic, social and cultural human rights may not be implemented equally and to the same extent in all the states, therefore, multilateral (universal and regional) treaties set out the so-called obligations of result to achieve implementation of these rights, to implement them gradually and taking account of the possibilities of economy and financial system of each state. Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides for that “each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realisation of the rights recognised in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures”; Part I of the European Social Charter provides that “the Contracting Parties accept as the aim of their policy, to be pursued by all appropriate means, both national and international in character, the attainment of conditions in which the following rights and principles may be effectively realised”.

The states, parties to the said multilateral international treaties, must regularly submit the reports on implementation of the provisions of these treaties. Thus, under Article 16 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit in conformity with this part of the Covenant reports on the measures which they have adopted and the progress made in achieving the observance of the rights recognised herein; the states which ratified the European Social Charter must regularly submit reports on the implementation of the Charter to the European Committee of Social Rights (elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe) which monitors the compliance of national law and practice of the states with the Charter, assesses the situation in a state and presents conclusions on the compliance of the situation of each state with the provisions of the Charter, inter alia regarding the established amounts of pensions, as well as recommendations on how to better ensure the implementation of the Charter, and adopts decisions under the procedure of collective complaints. In this context it needs to be mentioned that in the conclusions of the European Committee of Social Rights of January 2010 on the report on implementation of the Charter submitted by Lithuania, it is inter alia noted that the situation in Lithuania is not in conformity with Paragraph 1 of Article 12 of the European Social Charter inter alia due to the level of old-age state social insurance basic pension being manifestly inadequate.

  1. The Constitutional Court has more than once held that the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as the ECHR) as a source of construction of law is also important to construction and application of Lithuanian law. While construing Article 1 “Protection of Property” of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the ECHR noted that benefits are guaranteed to persons who have contributed to a social insurance system, however, it cannot be interpreted as entitling that person to a pension of a particular amount (inter alia judgment of 12 October 2004 in the case of Kjartan Ásmundsson v. Iceland, No. 60669/00, judgment of 22 October 2009 in the case Apostolakis v. Greece, No. 39574/07, judgment of 8 December 2009 in the case Wieczorek v. Poland, No. 18176/05, 8 February 2011 decision as to admissibility in the case Poulain v. France, No. 52273/08, judgment of 25 October 2011 in the case Valkov and others v. Bulgaria, Nos. 2033/04, 19125/04, 19475/04, 19490/04, 19495/04, 19497/04, 24729/04, 171/05, 2041/05); in every case it is important to assess whether the rights of a person are infringed in a manner resulting in the impairment of the essence of his pension rights (inter alia judgment of 12 October 2004 in the case of Kjartan Ásmundsson v. Iceland, No. 60669/00, judgment of 8 December 2009 in the case Wieczorek v. Poland, No. 18176/05, judgment of 25 October 2011 in the case Valkov and others v. Bulgaria, Nos. 2033/04, 19125/04, 19475/04, 19490/04, 19495/04, 19497/04, 24729/04, 171/05, 2041/05).

IV

On the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with Article 29 of the Constitution.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this item established that this law shall not apply to the receivers of the pensions who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I), one did not establish that this law shall not apply to the persons receiving the state social insurance old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, with Article 29 of the Constitution.
  2. It has also been mentioned that, in the opinion of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, a petitioner (petition No. 1B-40/2011), having established that the Provisional Law was not to be applied to persons who lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work, and having not established that this law was not to be applied to the persons receiving old-age pensions to whom a special need of permanent nursing was established, these groups of persons were treated differently from the legal point of view, even though there was not enough ground for such a different treatment and legal regulation.
  3. It has been mentioned that Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 “The Purpose and Application of the Law” of the Provisional Law prescribed:

“This Law shall apply to persons who receive the following social payments: <...>

5) the state social insurance pensions of old-age, early old-age and of lost capacity to work (disability) (with the exception of the pensions awarded to persons who have lost 75–100 per cent of their capacity to work (Group I disability pensions)), the retirement pensions exceeding the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, the state social insurance orphans’ pensions (pensions of loss of the breadwinner) exceeding half of the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, the state social insurance survivors’ pensions and compensations for special working conditions awarded and/or paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (hereinafter—the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Early Payment of State Social Insurance Old-age Pensions (hereinafter—the Law on the Early Payment of State Social Insurance Old-age Pensions).”

Thus, Item 5 (which is being disputed by the petitioner) of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law establishes certain groups of persons (inter alia the persons receiving pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work (disability)), to which the Provisional Law is applied; it was also established that the said law is not applied to the persons receiving pensions of lost capacity to work (disability), who have lost 75–100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I). Consequently, Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law inter alia established an exception whereby a group of persons (persons receiving Group I pensions of lost capacity to work (disability)), to whom the provisions of this law are not applied, was singled out from a certain group of persons (receiving pensions of lost capacity to work (disability)), to whom the provisions of this law are applied.

  1. While construing the legal regulation established in Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law in the aspect disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that this legal regulation did not establish that this law shall not apply to the persons receiving old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, thus, the legal regulation entrenched in Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law was the legal basis for recalculation of these social payments received by such persons, by applying the provisions of the Provisional Law.
  2. The legal regulation, which is being disputed by the petitioners, is entrenched in Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law and is to be construed in the context of the overall legal regulation established in this law.

As mentioned, from the provisions of the Provisional Law entrenched inter alia in the Preamble thereto, in Paragraph 1 of Article 1 thereof, as well as from the travaux préparatoires of this law, it is clear that in the Provisional Law the Seimas established a procedure for recalculation and payment of social payments, which implied reduction of the latter.

Thus, while construing the legal regulation (which is being disputed by the petitioner) entrenched in Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law in the context of the overall legal regulation established in this law, it needs to be noted that the pensions of lost capacity to work (disability) received by the persons who have lost 75–100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I)) have not been recalculated (reduced); it also needs to be noted that, while invoking the provisions of the Provisional Law, other social payments, inter alia old-age pensions, as well as with regard to those persons receiving them, who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, had to be recalculated (reduced).

  1. The legal regulation entrenched in Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law is to be construed in the context of also other legal acts by which the awarding and payment of social payments is regulated.

6.1. Under Paragraph 11 of Article 2, Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 3, Article 11, Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 12 and Paragraph 1 of Article 13 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Relief Payments (wording of 19 May 2005), in case a special need for permanent nursing has been established to disabled children, to the disabled who have lost 60 per cent and more of their capacity to work, and to the disabled who reached the pensionable age, and they are nursed at home, they shall be awarded target compensations for nursing expenses which shall be paid once a month and shall amount to 2.5 basic pensions.

Thus, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that the special need for permanent nursing may be established both to the disabled who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work and to the disabled who reached the pensionable age and, provided they are nursed at home, they are paid the target compensation for nursing expenses.

6.2. Paragraph 1 of Article 20 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities (wording of 11 May 2004) prescribed: “The level of the capacity to work is established for persons from 18 years of age till the pensionable age.”

Article 24 (wording of 18 October 2005) of the same law inter alia prescribes:

“1. The special needs (and level thereof) of the disabled are established and the special needs are satisfied without taking account of the age of the disabled, the level of disability or the level of incapacity to work and while seeking to secure the equal rights and opportunities in all spheres of life. <...>

  1. The procedure and conditions for establishing the special needs and their level, and for satisfying the special needs shall be established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania or an institution authorised by it <...>.”

Thus, it needs to be noted that the level of capacity to work is not established to the disabled who reached the pensionable age, whereas the special needs of the disabled are established and satisfied without taking account of the age of the disabled.

6.3. By its Resolution No. 1116 “On Granting the Powers in Implementing the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Social Integration of Persons with Incapacities” of 2 September 2004, the Government empowered the Ministry of Social Security and Labour to prepare and approve the Procedure and Conditions for Establishing and Satisfying the Special Needs.

6.4. Item 12 of the Conditions and Rules for Establishing and Satisfying the Special Needs (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) as approved by Order No. A1-316 “On Approving the Conditions and Rules for Establishing and Satisfying the Special Needs” of 16 November 2007 inter alia provides:

“12. The following levels of the special needs shall be distinguished: <...>

12.3. excessive—completely limited activity and possibilities to participate in public life, big amount of special assistance measures or the special need of permanent nursing is established.”

Item 24 of the Rules inter alia provides:

“24. The termless level of the special needs is established for a person (on the grounds of the certificate of the level of his capacity to work produced by him) to whom a level of capacity to work (save the special needs) was established before he reached the pensionable age:

24.1. in case of the capacity to work of 0–25 per cent, the level of excessive special needs is established <…>”.

Thus, the level of excessive special needs is established to a person inter alia when the special need of permanent nursing is established to him; it needs to be noted that the level of excessive special needs may be established to a person also on other grounds.

Consequently, both the persons receiving old-age pensions, to whom the special need of permanent nursing is established, and the persons who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) are ascribed to the group of persons for which the level of excessive special needs is established.

  1. While summing up the legal regulation set forth and while construing, in the context thereof, the legal regulation, disputed by the petitioners, established in Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, it needs to be noted that both the disabled who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) and the persons receiving old-age pensions, to whom the special need of permanent nursing is established, i.e. the disabled to whom the level of capacity to work is not established due to their age (since they have reached the pensionable age), are ascribed to the group of persons for which the level of excessive special needs is established, however, the social payments of the disabled who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) were not reduced under the provisions of the Provisional Law, whereas the social payments—old-age pensions—received by the persons to whom the special need of permanent nursing is established, were reduced.
  2. As mentioned, the provisions of Article 52 of the Constitution express the social orientation (social character) of the state, while the social maintenance, i.e. contribution of the society to maintenance of such its members who are incapable of providing themselves from work or other means or who are not sufficiently provided due to important reasons provided by law, is recognised as having the status of a constitutional value; the measures of social security express the idea of social solidarity and help a person to protect himself from possible social risks; the right of a person to social security is to be interpreted in accordance with the imperatives of social harmony and justice which are entrenched in the Constitution, as well as constitutional principle of equal rights of persons.

In this ruling it has also been mentioned that the constitutional imperatives of a state under the rule of law, justice, proportionality, equality of rights, as well as social solidarity inter alia mean that the burden of the economic and financial crisis should be evenly and proportionately shared among the entire society; the social orientation of the state implies the discretion of the legislator, in an extremely difficult economic and financial situation in the state, and thus, upon occurrence of the necessity to reduce pensions and other social payments temporarily, upon the assessment of the resources of the state and society, material and financial possibilities and other significant circumstances, to establish the exceptions to be applied also to certain other groups of socially most sensitive persons who need a specific social assistance, i.e. to establish that for these groups of persons, the pensions and other social payments shall not be reduced or will be reduced less, by seeking to ensure the conditions of living in line with human dignity.

  1. It has also been mentioned that the constitutional principle of equal rights of persons would be violated if certain persons or groups thereof were treated in a different manner, even though there are not any differences in their character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment would be objectively justified; however, differentiated legal regulation, when it is applied to certain groups of persons which are distinguished by the same signs, and in case it is striving for positive and socially meaningful goals, or if the establishment of certain limitations or conditions is linked with the peculiarities of regulated social relations, in itself is not to be regarded as discriminative legal regulation; while assessing whether an established different legal regulation is a grounded one, concrete legal circumstances must be taken into account; first of all, differences of the legal situation of subjects and objects to which different legal regulation is applied must be assessed.
  2. It has been mentioned that, under Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, the exception of the application of the provisions of this law was established for the persons receiving pensions of lost capacity to work (disability), who have lost 75–100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I), i.e. under the Provisional Law, social payments have not been recalculated (reduced) for this group of persons.
  3. As mentioned, the special need of permanent nursing may be established both to the persons who have been recognised disabled because they have lost 75–100 per cent of capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) and to the persons to whom the level of capacity to work is not established due to their age (since they have reached the pensionable age). It has also been mentioned that the level of excessive special needs is established both to the disabled who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) and to the persons receiving old-age pensions, to whom the special need of permanent nursing is established.

It needs to be held that these two groups of persons, i.e. the disabled who have reached the pensionable age, to whom the level of capacity to work is not established due to their age and to whom the special need of permanent nursing is recognised, and the disabled of working age who have lost 75–100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) are essentially in an analogous situation and there are not any differences in their character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment would be objectively justified.

In this context it needs to be noted that neither the age of persons of these groups, nor the types of social payments received by them are the differences of the character due to which the legislator, while implementing its discretion to establish the applicable exceptions to certain socially most sensitive groups of persons who need a special social assistance, i.e. to establish that the provisions of the Provisional Law are not applied to these groups of persons, might treat these groups of persons in an uneven manner.

12. Thus, although the persons who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) andthe persons receiving old-age pensions, to whom the special need of permanent nursing is established, i.e. the persons to whom the level of capacity to work is not established due to their age, are essentially in an analogous situation, since to both of them the level of excessive special needs is established, however, under the legal regulation entrenched in Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law they were treated in a different manner.It needs to be held that when Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law did not establish that the provisions of this law are not applied to the persons receiving old-age pensions, to whom the special need of permanent nursing is recognised, one disregarded the principle of equality of rights of persons, which arises from Article 29 of the Constitution, one disregarded Article 52 of the Constitution, the constitutional imperatives of justice and a harmonious society, thus also the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this law did not establish that it shall not apply to the persons receiving the state social insurance old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, was in conflict with Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. On 26 October 2010, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 5, 7, 8 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which came into force on 1 December 2010. Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law amended Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law which is being disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue:

“2. This Law shall apply to persons who receive the following social payments: <...>

5) the state social insurance old-age pensions, with the exception of the persons who receive such pensions, to whom the level of excessive special needs is established, pensions of early old-age and of lost capacity to work to persons who have lost 45–70 per cent of their capacity to work (Groups II and III disability pensions)), the retirement pensions exceeding the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, the state social insurance orphans’ pensions (pensions of loss of the breadwinner) exceeding half of the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension (with the exception of the pensions specified in Paragraph 3 of this Article), the state social insurance survivors’ pensions (pensions of loss of the breadwinner) and compensations for special working conditions awarded and/or paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (hereinafter—the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Early Payment of State Social Insurance Old-age Pensions (hereinafter—the Law on the Early Payment of State Social Insurance Old-age Pensions).”

Having compared the legal regulation established in Item 5 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law with the one established in Item 5 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, it needs to be noted that, under Item 5 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law, this law is not applied to the persons who have lost 75-100 per cent of their capacity to work (pensioners of Disability Group I) and the persons receiving old-age pensions, to whom the level of excessive special needs is established.

Thus, the disputed legal regulation established in Item 5 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law in the aspect considered in the constitutional justice case at issue was amended in essence, therefore, the compliance of Item 5 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution is not a matter of investigation in the constitutional justice case at issue.

V

On the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 and Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this paragraph provides for the recalculation and reduction of the old-age pensions awarded prior to the entry into force of this law, and the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the same law, insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any compensation for the reduced state social insurance old-age pensions, with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. It has also been mentioned that the Provisional Law, as it is stated in the Preamble thereto, was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; the said law inter alia established a temporarily applied procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions, which implied reduction of awarded old-age pensions.
  3. Article 6 “The procedure for recalculation of state social insurance pensions” of the Provisional Law, Paragraph 1 whereof is being disputed by the petitioners, prescribes:

“1. The state social insurance old-age pension (hereinafter referred to as the old-age pension), which was awarded prior to the entry into force of this Law, shall be recalculated by increasing the main part of the old-age pension till 120 per cent of the state social insurance basic pension, when the person has the obligatory state social insurance pension record for an old-age pension, and by applying the amount of the current year insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the application of this law.

  1. If the person does not have the obligatory state social insurance pension record for an old-age pension, but has the minimum state social insurance pension record for an old-age pension, the main part of the old-age pension shall be recalculated proportionately to the existing record, by multiplying the amount of 120 per cent of the state social insurance basic pension by the record of the person and dividing it by the obligatory record.
  2. A person who receives an early old-age pension, the old-age pension calculated under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions shall be recalculated under procedure established in Paragraph 1 of this Article and shall be correspondingly reduced by applying the provisions of the Law on Early Payment of State Social Insurance Pensions.
  3. For persons who have lost 60–70 per cent of their capacity to work (Group II disability pension), the state social insurance pension of lost capacity to work shall be recalculated under procedure established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article. For persons who have lost 45–55 per cent of their capacity to work (Group III disability pension), the state social insurance pension of lost capacity to work shall be recalculated in the same manner as for the persons who have lost 60–70 per cent of their capacity to work and after that shall be reduced by 50 per cent.
  4. The state social insurance orphans’ pensions shall be recalculated under procedure established in Paragraphs 1–4 of this Article in accordance with the amount of the state social insurance pension of old-age, of the lost capacity to work (disability) or early old-age pension which could have belonged to the deceased person.
  5. While recalculating the non-recalculated pensions under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the part of the non-recalculated pension specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 52 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, which is equal to 110 per cent of the state social insurance basic pension, shall be increased till 120 per cent of the social insurance basic pension, while the remaining part of the pension, with the exception of the additional pay for the length of record, shall be recalculated according to the ratio of the newly approved insured income and the preceding insured income of the current year. While paying the pension recalculated under this Law and specified in this Paragraph, the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Article 52 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions shall be applied.
  6. If the state social insurance pension recalculated under this Law is bigger than the pension calculated under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the person is continued to be paid the pension not recalculated under this Law.”

Thus, Article 6 of the Provisional Law established how state social insurance pensions had to be recalculated: old-age pensions (Paragraphs 1 and 2), early old-age pensions (Paragraph 3), pensions of lost capacity to work (disability) (Paragraph 4), orphan’s pensions (Paragraph 5).

  1. It needs to be noted that the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions established in Paragraph 1 (which is disputed by the petitioners) of Article 6 of the Provisional Law was applied to the persons having the obligatory state social insurance pension record in order to receive an old-age pension. While recalculating the old-age pension the main part thereof is increased (till 120 per cent of the state social insurance basic pension); this provision also establishes that, in the course of recalculation of old-age pensions, the Government must approve the amount of the current year insured income meant for the application of this law.
  2. The legal regulation, disputed by the petitioner, entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, is to be construed in the context of other provisions of this law as well.

5.1. It has been mentioned that Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the Provisional Law prescribes: “The marginal amount of the state social insurance pension is LTL 650.”

5.2. It has also been mentioned that Paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Provisional Law prescribes: “The persons the amount of whose state social insurance pension prior to the recalculation of this pension exceeded the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, but after recalculating this pension the amount of whose state social insurance pension is lower than the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension are paid the compensatory supplement equal to the difference between the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension and the amount of the recalculated state social insurance pension.”

5.3. While construing the legal regulation, disputed by the petitioner, entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, in connection with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Provisional Law in the aspect disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that, under the provisions of the Provisional Law, the state social insurance old-age pensions which did not exceed the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension—LTL 650—could not be recalculated, whereas the old-age pensions which exceeded this amount, could not be reduced below LTL 650 when they were being recalculated.

5.4. As mentioned, Article 15 (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law established that the provisions of this law, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 6 thereof, which is being disputed by the petitioners, are valid only temporarily, until a certain term, namely, till 31 December 2011.

It has also been mentioned that Article 15 (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law was amended and supplemented by the Law on Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which was adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 2010, and by the Law on Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which was adopted by the Seimas on 20 December 2011, however, the legal regulation established in Article 15 (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law in the aspect that the provisions of the Provisional Law regulating the recalculation (reduction) of old-age pensions are applied till 31 December 2011, remained unchanged.

5.5. It has been mentioned that Paragraph 4 (the compliance of which is also being disputed by the petitioners in the constitutional justice case at issue) of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, prescribes: “The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall, by 1 July 2010, prepare and approve the inventory schedule of the procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work”.

As mentioned, in its ruling of 29 June 2010 the Constitutional Court inter alia held that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is to be construed as meaning that the Government is proposed to prepare and approve the inventory schedule of such a procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work that would include no essential elements of compensation for pensions: grounds, sizes, etc.; these elements of compensation for reduced pensions must be established by means of a law by the legislator; only if understood in this way the said legal regulation is not in conflict with the Constitution.

  1. The legal regulation, disputed by the petitioner, entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, is to be construed in the context of other legal acts, by which the awarding, calculation and payment of old-age pensions is regulated.
  2. The relations of state social insurance pensions are regulated inter alia by the Republic of Lithuania Law on Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005).

7.1. Article 6 (wording of 18 December 2008) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) prescribes:

“1. A state social insurance pension shall consist of the main part and the supplementary part as well as an additional pay for the length of record.

  1. The main part of a state social insurance pension shall guarantee the minimum pensionary maintenance of the persons having the obligatory record of state social pension insurance and fulfilling other conditions established by this Law.
  2. The measure of amount of the main part of a state social insurance pension and an additional pay for the length of record shall be the state social insurance basic pension (Article 13).
  3. The supplementary part of a state social insurance pension shall ensure a supplementary pensionary maintenance of the persons listed in Items 1-8, 10 and 12 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 and covered by state social pension insurance, taking into account these persons’ record of insurance and the insured income earned during the record of insurance (self-insurance).
  4. An additional pay for the length of record shall ensure a supplementary pensionary maintenance of the persons who have acquired the record of state social pension insurance exceeding 30 years.”

Thus, Article 6 (wording of 18 December 2008) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) prescribes that a state social insurance pension may consist of three parts: the main part guaranteeing the minimum pensionary maintenance of the persons, where this part is established while taking account of the basic pension; the supplementary part ensuring a supplementary pensionary maintenance of the persons listed in the law, who are covered by state social pension insurance, where this part is established to every person according to his record of insurance and the insured income earned during the record of insurance; an additional pay for the length of record which is established for the persons, who have the record of state social pension insurance exceeding 30 years, also on the grounds of the amount of the basic pension.

It needs to be noted that Article 6 (wording of 18 December 2008) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) was amended when, on 30 June 2010, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 2, 6, 8, 14, 54, 55 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, however, the legal regulation important to the constitutional justice case at issue has remained unchanged.

7.2. The Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) also establishes how the corresponding parts of the old-age pension are calculated:

– the amount of the state social insurance basic pension, which is approved by the Government, may not be less than 110 per cent of the minimum living standard (MLS) (Article 13);

– the main part of the state social insurance old-age pension shall be equal to 110 per cent of the state social insurance basic pension provided the person has the obligatory state social pension insurance record for the old-age pension (Paragraph 1 of Article 23 (wording of 6 December 2007));

– the supplementary part of the state social insurance old-age pension is calculated for the persons specified in the law, according to formula 0.005 x S x K x D, where:

“S” means the person’s period of state social pension insurance acquired while working under an employment contract or on the basis of membership or service;

“K” means the coefficient of the person’s insured income;

“D” means the insured income of the current year as valid in the month for which the pension is paid and approved by the Government (Article 24);

– the insured income of the current year shall, at least once per year, be approved by the Government on the recommendation of the State Social Insurance Fund Council when establishing the beginning of the application of this income; the insured income of the current year shall be calculated according to the methods approved by the State Social Insurance Fund Council taking into account the revenue and expenditure of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund of the respective year or of a respective period of the year (Paragraph 1 of Article 16);

– where a person’s entire record of state social pension insurance acquired while working under an employment contract or on the basis of membership or service consists of the record of insurance acquired after 1 January 1994, the coefficient of a person’s insured income shall be calculated as the weighted average of annual coefficients based on the twenty-five most favourable calendar years of this record of insurance (Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 19); if a person’s record of state social pension insurance acquired while working under an employment contract or on the basis of membership or service is less than twenty five years, the coefficient of the person’s insured income shall be calculated on the basis of the acquired record of insurance (Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 October 2008) of Article 19);

– the amount of a state social insurance old-age pension bonus for the length of the record shall be calculated by multiplying 3 per cent of the state social insurance basic pension by the sum of every full year of the state social pension insurance record exceeding 30 years and acquired before the month of retirement (Article 241 (wording of 7 May 2007)).

While summing up the legal regulation set forth, in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that the main part of the old-age pension was established as the one equal to 110 per cent of the amount of basic pension, which is approved by the Government and which may not be less than 110 per cent of the MLS; the additional part is calculated according to a formula established by the legislator; one of the component parts of the formula— amount of the current year insured income—is approved by the Government at least once per year (other component parts of the formula depend on the state social insurance pension record of the person and the insured income of the person); the third part of the pension—an additional pay for the length of record—is awarded for the persons who have the record of state social pension insurance exceeding 30 years, is also calculated on the grounds of the amount of the basic pension.

  1. As mentioned, Paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) provides for a duty of the Government to approve, at least once per year, on the recommendation of the State Social Insurance Fund Council, the insured income of the current year.

8.1. By Government Resolution No. 1367 “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Current Year in 2009” of 30 December 2008, the amount of the insured income of the current year in 2009 was approved, which was equal to LTL 1488 and was applied as from 1 January 2009.

8.2. By Government Resolution No. 1771 “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Current Year in 2010, the Marginal Amount of Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit and the Marginal Amount of a State Pension” of 23 December 2009, a new amount of the insured income of the current year in 2010 was approved, which was equal to LTL 1170 and was to be applied in implementing the provisions of the Provisional Law.

By Government Resolution No. 210 “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Current Year in 2010, the Marginal Amount of Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit and the Marginal Amount of a State Pension” of 23 February 2011, the same amount of the insured income of the current year was approved, which was equal to LTL 1170.

8.3. Thus the Government, while invoking the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, in which its duty is entrenched to approve, at least once per year, the insured income of the current year, inter alia which is applied in implementing the provisions of the Provisional Law, reduced it from LTL 1488 to LTL 1170. After the amount of the insured income of the current year had been reduced, the additional part of the old-age pension became reduced as well.

  1. While construing the legal regulation, disputed by the petitioner, established in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law in the context of the legal regulation set forth, it needs to be noted that:

– under Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, the main part of an old-age pension was increased from 110 to 120 per cent of the state social insurance basic pension;

– after it had been established in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law that the Government must approve the amount of the insured income for the current year, preconditions were created for a situation, where, after the Government reduces this amount in a corresponding manner, the additional part of an old-age pension is reduced;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law does not provide that the calculation of an additional pay for the length of record is amended;

– for the persons the old-age pensions received by whom became smaller than LTL 650 after the recalculation, such pensions were reduced to a smaller extent, i.e. not below LTL 650.

Thus, after the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law had established that the Government, for the application of this law, must approve the amount of the insured income for the current year (which was reduced by the Government from LTL 1488 to LTL 1170), used for calculation of an additional part of the old-age pension, a procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions was established, which created preconditions to reduce the old-age pensions awarded prior to the entry into force of this law to all persons receiving them, save those whose pensions did not exceed LTL 650.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this paragraph provides for the recalculation and reduction of the old-age pensions awarded before the entry into force of this law, with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. The doubts of the petitioners are substantiated by the fact that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, whereby the old-age pensions awarded prior to the entry into force of this law were reduced, implies legal uncertainty and indefiniteness of acquired rights, denies legitimate expectations of a person and violates the principle of inviolability of ownership entrenched in Article 23 of the Constitution. In addition, upon recalculating old-age pensions, also the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and proportionality were violated, since the awarded old-age pensions were reduced, by means of the disputed legal regulation, in a disproportionate manner. Alongside, the constitutional principle of equality of rights was violated as well.
  3. It has been mentioned that there might occur such an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis, etc.) when there is objective lack of funds for the payment of pensions and that in such extraordinary cases the legal regulation of pensionary relations may be corrected also by reducing the awarded and paid pensions to the extent that it is necessary to ensure vitally important interests of society and protect other constitutional values; the reduced pensions may be paid only temporarily, i.e. only as long as there is an extreme situation in the state; even in such exceptional cases the awarded and paid pensions may not be reduced in violation of the balance of the interests of the person and society, which is entrenched in the Constitution, i.e. the constitutional principle of proportionality, whereby the legislator is under obligation to establish a uniform and non-discriminatory scale of reduction of pensions whereby the pensions would be reduced in a manner not violating the proportions of the amounts of the pensions established with regard to pensioners of the same category prior to the occurrence of the particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state. In this ruling it has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, it is not allowed to establish any such legal regulation whereby the pension becomes reduced to an amount, where the person receiving the pension would not be secured the minimal socially acceptable needs and the living conditions compatible with human dignity; the pension which secures only minimal socially acceptable needs and the living conditions compatible with human dignity to the person who receives the pension, may not be reduced at all.

It has also been mentioned that the legislator, upon occurrence of an extreme situation, when inter alia due to an economic crisis it is impossible to accumulate the amount of the funds necessary to pay old-age pensions, must, while reducing old-age pensions, provide for a mechanism of compensation for incurred losses to the persons to whom such pensions were awarded and paid, according to which, after the said extreme situation is over, the state would undertake an obligation before such persons to compensate them, in a fair manner and within a reasonable time, the losses incurred by them due to the reduction of the old-age pension.

Thus, it needs to be held that, under the Constitution, upon occurrence of an extreme situation in the state, when inter alia due to a very difficult economic and financial situation it is impossible to accumulate the amount of funds necessary to pay old-age pensions, the legal regulation of pensionary relations may be amended inter alia by reducing the awarded and paid old-age pensions, however, while doing so the legislator must heed inter alia the constitutional principles of equality of rights and proportionality, and establish an equal and non-discriminatory scale of reduction of pensions; the reduced pensions may be paid only temporarily after a mechanism of compensation for incurred losses is provided for.

  1. While assessing the compliance, with the Constitution, of the legal regulation, disputed by the petitioners, entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, which created preconditions to reduce the old age pensions awarded before the entry into force of this law, one has to elucidate whether in the course of establishing such legal regulation one was following the requirements arising from the Constitution.
  2. It has been mentioned that the legal regulation of pensionary relations may be amended inter alia by reducing the awarded old-age pensions upon occurrence of an extreme situation in the state, when inter alia due to a very difficult economic and financial situation it is impossible to accumulate the amount of funds necessary to pay old-age pensions.

It has also been mentioned that the Provisional Law was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis and that such a procedure for recalculation and paying of social payments, which implied reduction of awarded social payments, was established while taking account of the particularly difficult economic and financial situation that had occurred in the state, and by seeking to diminish inter alia the expenditures of the State Social Insurance Fund.

Thus, it needs to be held that the legislator, by establishing, in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, such a procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions, which created preconditions for reduction of awarded old-age pensions, had taken account of the extreme situation that had occurred in the state, where, inter alia due to a very difficult economic and financial situation it was impossible to accumulate the amount of the funds necessary to pay old-age pensions.

  1. Under the Constitution, pensions may not be reduced by violating the constitutional principle of proportionality, whereby the legislator is under obligation to establish an equal and non-discriminatory scale of reduction of pensions.

As mentioned, Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law established the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions, whereby the main part of an old-age pension was increased (by increasing the state social insurance basic pension from 110 to 120 per cent), and after it had been established that the Government, for the application of this law, must approve the amount of the insured income for the current year (which was reduced by the Government from LTL 1488 to LTL 1170), used for calculation of an additional part of the old-age pension, whereas the procedure for recalculation of an additional pay for the length of insurance record had not been amended, preconditions were created to reduce the old-age pensions awarded prior to the entry into force of this law; it has also been mentioned that, under provisions of the Provisional Law, inter alia Article 3, Paragraph 1 of Article 6, Paragraph 1 of Article 7 thereof, old-age pensions were reduced not below the marginal amount, established by the state, of state social insurance pensions (LTL 650), whereas such pensions were not reduced at all to the persons whose pensions did not exceed LTL 650.

It needs to be held that, while applying, under Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, the same amount of the insured income of the current year (which was reduced from LTL 1488 to LTL 1170), which is approved by the Government, the additional part of the old-age pension, together with the entire old-age pension, was reduced proportionately, in a uniform and same manner, save with regard to the persons the amount of the old age pensions received by whom did not exceed the established limit of LTL 650, and those whose old-age pensions after the recalculation became smaller than LTL 650 (for such persons old-age pensions were reduced to a smaller extent).

In this context it needs to be noted that, as mentioned, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and proportionality do not mean that it is not allowed to establish a limit in the amount of the pensions below which the pensions would not be reduced even when there is a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state; the pension which secures only minimal socially acceptable needs and the living conditions compatible with human dignity to the person who receives the pension, may not be reduced at all.

Thus the legislator, having established, in the Provisional Law, a certain exception due to which the old-age pensions, which did not exceed the marginal amount (established in the law) of the state social insurance pension, which was LTL 650, could not be recalculated (reduced), whereas the pensions that exceeded the said amount, in the course of their recalculation could not be reduced below this amount, did not violate the requirements arising from the constitutional principles of equality of rights and proportionality.

  1. It has been mentioned that, under the Constitution, the reduced pensions may be paid only temporarily, i.e. only as long as there is an extreme situation in the state.

It has also been mentioned that, under Article 15 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 2 July 2010 and 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law, the provisions of the Provisional Law, inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 6 thereof, in which the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions was established, which implied their reduction, was applied only temporarily, namely till 31 December 2011.

Thus, the legislator, having established the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, alongside established that the reduced pensions would be paid only temporarily, namely till 31 December 2011.

  1. Consequently, the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, which created preconditions for reduction of awarded old-age pensions, was established after an extreme situation had occurred in the state, where, inter alia due to a very difficult economic and financial situation it was impossible to accumulate the amount of the funds necessary to pay old-age pensions, was applied temporarily and without violating the requirements arising from the constitutional principles of proportionality and equality of rights.
  2. It has been mentioned that, under the Constitution, the legislator, while reducing old-age pensions, must provide for a mechanism of compensation for incurred losses to the persons to whom such pensions were awarded and paid.

While assessing the compliance, with the Constitution, of the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, whereby the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions was established, which implied their reduction, one must elucidate whether a mechanism of compensation for incurred losses due to the reduction of these pensions was provided for.

  1. It has been mentioned that the Government was proposed, in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, to prepare and approve, by 1 July 2010, the inventory schedule of the procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work. It has also been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the petitioners are disputing the compliance, with the Constitution, of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of Provisional Law, insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, the compensation for the reduced state social insurance old-age pensions.

Therefore, while assessing the compliance, with the Constitution, of the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, whereby the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions was established, which implied their reduction, one must, first of all, assess the constitutionality of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law.

19.1. In this context it needs to be noted that, as mentioned, in its ruling of 29 June 2010, the Constitutional Court inter alia recognised that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this paragraph does not propose that the Government prepare and approve the inventory schedule of the procedure for compensation of the state pensions reduced to a large extent, is in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. It also needs to be noted that the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution, to the extent disputed by the petitioner in the constitutional justice case at issue, was not investigated.

19.2. It has been mentioned that, in the opinion of the petitioners, the legislator, while reducing old-age pensions, must provide for a mechanism of compensation for incurred losses, where the state would undertake an obligation for persons to compensate their losses incurred due to the reduction of the old-age pension, however, in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law no such compensation mechanism was provided for.

Thus, in the constitutional justice case at issue one is disputing not the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, whereas something that is not established therein, but, in the opinion of the petitioners, which should have been established; therefore, in this situation virtually the issue of legislative omission is raised, i.e. such a gap in the legal regulation, which is prohibited by the Constitution.

19.3. In this context it needs to be noted that the Constitutional Court has held more than once that a legal gap, inter alia legislative omission, always means that the legal regulation of corresponding social relations is established neither explicitly, nor implicitly, neither in a concrete legal act (part thereof), nor any other legal acts at all, even though there exists a need for the legal regulation of these social relations, while the said legal regulation, in case of legislative omission, must be established precisely in that legal act (precisely in that part thereof), since this is required by a certain legal act of higher power, inter alia the Constitution itself (Constitutional Court rulings of 2 March 2009, 22 June 2009, 11 December 2009, 29 September 2010, 29 November 2010, 7 July 2011 and 22 December 2011).

19.4. It has been mentioned that, in its ruling of 29 June 2010, the Constitutional Court held that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is to be construed as meaning that the Government is proposed to prepare and approve the inventory schedule of such a procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work that would include no essential elements (grounds, amounts etc.) of compensation for pensions; these elements of compensation for reduced pensions must be established by means of a law by the legislator; only if understood in this way the said legal regulation is not in conflict with the Constitution.

Thus, the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is to be construed as meaning inter alia a self-obligation of the legislator to establish, by law, essential elements (grounds, amounts etc.) of compensation for pensions, where the Government might be able to invoke such elements in the course of preparation and approval of an inventory schedule of the procedure for compensation of the losses incurred to the reduction of state social insurance old-age pensions and those of lost capacity to work.

19.5. It has been mentioned in this ruling that, while seeking to ensure that the losses incurred inter alia due to the reduction of old-age pensions, would be compensated within a reasonable time and in a fair manner after the extreme situation is over, the legislator must, without unreasonable delay, by means of a law, establish the essential elements (grounds, amounts, etc.) of compensation of the reduced pensions, on the basis of which one should prepare the procedure for compensation for the reduced pensions.

19.6. In this context it needs to be noted that the duty of the legislator to establish, in the law, essential elements (grounds, amounts, etc.) of compensation of the reduced pensions does not mean that these elements must be established namely in the Provisional Law, inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 16 thereof.

Consequently, in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law there is no legislative omission, i.e. a legal gap prohibited by the Constitution, pointed out by the petitioners.

19.7. Thus, there are no grounds to assert that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of Provisional Law, insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, the essential elements of compensation for the reduced state social insurance old-age pensions, is in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

19.8. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of Provisional Law, insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, any essential elements of compensation for the reduced state social insurance old-age pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. As mentioned, the petitioners are disputing inter alia the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, whereby the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions, which implied their reduction, was established. It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, pensions may be reduced only by providing for a mechanism of compensation for the losses incurred due to their reduction.
  2. While deciding whether Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law was not in conflict with the Constitution, it needs to be noted that the legislator, having proposed, in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of this law, that the Government prepare and approve the inventory schedule of such a procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work, and thus having undertaken an obligation to establish the essential elements of compensation for the reduced pensions, provided for compensation for the losses incurred due to the reduction of old-age pensions. Only if construed in such a way, the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law together with the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is to be assessed as being not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. While taking account of the fact that, as mentioned, the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, which created preconditions for reduction of awarded old-age pensions, was established after an extreme situation had occurred in the state, where, inter alia due to a very difficult economic and financial situation it was impossible to accumulate the amount of the funds necessary to pay old-age pensions, also, while taking account of the fact that this legal regulation was established by following the requirements arising from the constitutional principles of proportionality and equality of rights and was applied temporarily, in addition, in view of the fact that compensation for the losses incurred due to the reduction of such pensions was provided for, it needs to be held that there are no constitutional arguments to assert that such regulation was in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  4. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of Provisional Law, insofar as this paragraph created preconditions to reduce old-age pensions in the course of recalculation thereof, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

VI

On the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with Articles 23, 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and on the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of this law with Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this paragraph regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of this law, insofar as this paragraph regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. It has also been mentioned that the petitioners are doubting whether the legislator complied with the Constitution properly, when in the Provisional Law it provided for the reduction of old-age pensions for the persons who have a job or conduct a certain business to a greater extent if compared to the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business.
  3. In this ruling it has been mentioned that the Provisional Law, as it is stated in the Preamble thereto, was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the State Budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; the said law inter alia established a temporarily applied procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions, which implied the reduction of awarded old-age pensions.
  4. Article 8 “The Payment of State Social Insurance Old-age and Retirement Pensions and Compensations for Special Working Conditions to Persons Who Have the Insured Income” (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law, Paragraphs 1 and 2 whereof are being disputed by the petitioners, prescribed:

“1. The receivers of the state social insurance old-age and retirement pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this Law, as well as the receivers of compensations for special working conditions (hereinafter in this article—receivers of pensions), who (upon awarding of a pension) are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (with the exception of the persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions) and who have the insured income, shall be paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this Law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the preceding calendar month.

  1. The receivers of pensions who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, during the period of their insurance by the state social pension insurance, shall be paid the main part of the state social insurance pension, which is established in Article 6 of this Law, and the additional pay for the length of record.
  2. The provisions of Paragraph 2 of this Law shall not apply where a receiver of a pension is the owner of an individual enterprise, a member of a general partnership or a member of a limited partnership, but the individual enterprise or partnership temporarily does not carry out any activities and has declared that in accordance with the procedure established by the Republic of Lithuania Law on Tax Administration and the legal acts implementing that law.
  3. The insurer must every month submit the data about the monthly insured income of the receivers of pensions who have a job to the territorial departments of the State Social Insurance Fund Board in accordance with the procedure set by the Director of the Board of the State Social Insurance Fund Board .”

Thus, Article 8 (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law establishes as to how state social insurance old-age and retirement pensions as well as compensations for special working conditions are recalculated for the persons who (upon awarding of a pension) have the insured income and/or are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance.

It needs to be noted that Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law inter alia defines the notion of receivers of pensions, which is employed in all provisions of Article 8 of the Provisional Law: receivers of pensions are the receivers of the state social insurance old-age and retirement pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this law as well as the receivers of compensations for special working conditions.

  1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is being disputed by the petitioners, regulates inter alia the payment of old-age pensions to the persons who have the insured income and who (upon awarding of a pension) are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (with the exception of the persons who are indicated in Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions). The said persons, after recalculating the old-age pension according to Articles 6 and 7 of the Provisional Law, were paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of the Provisional Law.

The provisions of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law regulate inter alia the payment of old-age pensions to the persons who, under Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance—they are paid the main part of the state social insurance pension, which is established in Article 6 of the Provisional Law, and the additional pay for the length of record.

  1. The legal regulation disputed by the petitioners is to be construed in conjunction with other provisions of the Provisional Law.

6.1. In this ruling it has been mentioned that, after it had been established, by the legal regulation laid down in Article 6 of the Provisional Law, inter alia in Paragraph 1 thereof, that the main part of an old-age pension was increased (by increasing the state social insurance basic pension from 110 to 120 per cent), upon establishing that the Government must, for the application of this law, approve the amount of the insured income for the current year (which was reduced by the Government from LTL 1488 to LTL 1170) used for the calculation of an additional part of the old-age pension, one laid down a procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions, which created preconditions to reduce the awarded old-age pensions to all persons receiving them, save those whose pensions did not exceed LTL 650.

6.2. It has also been mentioned that Article 7 of the Provisional Law provided that the old-age pensions not exceeding the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, i.e. LTL 650, could not be recalculated, whereas the old-age pensions exceeding that amount could not, while recalculating them, be reduced below LTL 650.

6.3. While construing the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is being disputed by the petitioner, in conjunction with the legal regulation entrenched in Articles 6 and 7 of this law, it needs to be noted that, for the persons who had the insured income and were insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (save the specified exceptions), old-age pensions were recalculated (reduced) according to Articles 6 and 7 of the Provisional Law and, under Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of this law, these pensions were once more recalculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law.

  1. Annex 2 “The Formula for Calculating the Coefficient Applied for the Calculation of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Retirement Pensions, State Pensions, Annuities and Compensations, Which is Paid to Persons Who Have the Insured Income” of the Provisional Law prescribes:

“K = 1, where DP < = LTL 100;

K = 1 – {[0,05: (400 – 100)] x (DP – 100)}, where 100 < = DP < = LTL 400;

K = 1 – {0,05 + [(0,5 – 0,05): (2 100 – 400)] x (DP – 400)}, where 400 < = DP < = LTL 2100;

K = 1 – {0,5 + [(0,7 – 0,5): (4 200 – 2 100)] x (DP – 2 100)}, where 2 100 < = DP < = LTL 4200;

K = 0,3, where DP > = 4 200.

In this formula:

‘K’ shall mean the coefficient;

‘DP’ shall mean the person’s insured income.”

Thus, under the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, when recalculating old-age pensions by applying the formula for coefficient calculation set in Annex 2 of this law, the pensions in question were not reduced only to the persons whose monthly insured income did not exceed LTL 100.

While construing Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is being disputed by the petitioner, in conjunction with the legal regulation established in Articles 6 and 7 of the Provisional Law and Annex 2 of this law, it needs to be noted that, for the persons who had the insured income and were covered by the obligatory state social pension insurance (save the specified exceptions), old-age pensions were recalculated (reduced) according to Articles 6 and 7 of the Provisional Law and, under Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of this law, these pensions were once more recalculated (reduced) by taking into account the insured income received by the said persons.

  1. When construing the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is being disputed by the petitioner, in conjunction with the legal regulation entrenched in Article 6 of this law, it needs to be noted that the persons insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance under Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions are paid the main part of old-age pension, which was increased by increasing the state social insurance basic pension from 110 to 120 per cent, and an additional pay for the length of record.
  2. The legal regulation established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law is also to be construed in conjunction with the provisions of the laws regulating the relations of state social insurance pensions.
  3. The Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) and the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance (wording of 4 November 2004) inter alia establish which persons are covered by the obligatory state social pension insurance.

10.1. Under Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005 with subsequent amendments and supplements) as well as Items 1 and 2 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance (wording of 4 November 2004 with subsequent amendments and supplements), inter alia the following persons are covered, on a compulsory basis, by the state social pension insurance: the persons employed under employment contracts, notaries, members of referendum commissions, sportsmen, performers, authors, politicians, judges, state officials, state servants, officials of the system of the internal service, persons delegated to foreign institutions, servicemen, officials of the system of the State Security Department, the spouses of servicemen, state servants and delegated persons residing together abroad with the servicemen, state servants and delegated persons, members of religious communities, and undercover participants of operative activities who are paid remuneration.

10.2. Item 8 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) prescribes: “The following persons shall be covered, on a compulsory basis, by the state social pension insurance: owners of individual enterprises, members of general partnerships, members of limited partnerships as well as the persons who are engaged in individual activities as defined by the Law on Personal Income Tax (advocates, assistant advocates, notaries, bailiffs and other persons), with the exception of the individual activities exercised under a business certificate (hereinafter referred to as ‘self-employed persons’), also farmers and their partners as defined by the Law on State Social Insurance (hereinafter referred to as ‘farmers and their partners’).”

Item 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) prescribes: “The following persons shall be covered, on a compulsory basis, by the state social pension insurance: the persons engaged in individual activities and holding a business certificate.”

10.3. While summing up what has been set forth, it needs to be noted that persons who have a certain job as well as persons who conduct a certain business are covered, on a compulsory basis, by the state social pension insurance.

10.4. While construing the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is being disputed by the petitioners, in conjunction with the legal regulation entrenched in Items 1 and 2 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance (wording of 4 November 2004 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and in the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005 with subsequent amendments and supplements), inter alia Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 thereof, it needs to be noted that, under the provisions of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, old-age pensions are recalculated for the persons who have the insured income and are covered by the obligatory state social pension insurance and who have a certain job, with the exception of the persons who conduct a certain business; with respect of the latter persons, old-age pensions are recalculated and paid according to the provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Provisional Law.

  1. In this ruling it has been mentioned that Article 6 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) prescribes that a state social insurance pension may consist of three parts: the main part, which is established while taking account of the basic pension; the supplementary part, which is established to every person according to his record of insurance and the insured income earned during the record of insurance; and the additional pay for the length of record, which is also established on the grounds of the amount of the basic pension and is paid to the persons who have the record of state social pension insurance exceeding 30 years.

When construing Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is being disputed by the petitioner, in conjunction with the provisions of Article 6 of this law and the provisions of Article 6 of the aforementioned Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), it needs to be noted that the persons who conducted a certain business were paid only the main part of the old-age pension, which was increased by increasing the state social insurance basic pension from 110 to 120 per cent, and the additional pay for the length of record, however they were not paid the supplementary part of the old-age pension.

Thus, under Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, it is provided that for the persons who are covered by the obligatory state social pension insurance and conduct a certain business the old-age pension is recalculated so that this pension is reduced more than for the receivers of old-age pensions who do not conduct any business.

  1. Thus, it needs to be held that by the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is being disputed by the petitioners, it was established that for the persons who had a certain job or conducted a certain business and who were covered by the obligatory state social pension insurance, solely due to the fact that they had a certain job or conducted a certain business, old-age pensions were reduced more than for the receivers of old-age pensions who did not have any job and did not conduct any business.
  2. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will inter alia investigate the compliance of Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as these paragraphs regulate the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, with inter alia the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  3. It has also been mentioned that, upon occurrence of such an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis, etc.) when there is objective lack of funds for the payment of pensions, the legal regulation of pensionary relations may be corrected also by reducing the awarded and paid pensions to the extent that is necessary to ensure vitally important interests of society and protect other constitutional values, however, while regulating pensionary relations, one must heed Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, which inter alia enshrines the opportunity of a human being to choose a job and business at his own discretion (i.e. by his own free decision); when there is an especially grave economic and financial situation in the state and when, due to this, there is a necessity temporarily to reduce the awarded and paid pensions in order to secure vitally important interests of society and the state and to protect other constitutional values, it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation whereby the old-age pension awarded and paid to the persons who have a certain job or conduct a certain business, namely due to this, would be reduced to a greater extent if compared to the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business.
  4. As mentioned, by the disputed legal regulation, entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, it was established that for the persons who had a certain job or conducted a certain business and who were covered by the obligatory state social pension insurance, solely due to the fact that they had a certain job or conducted a certain business, old-age pensions were reduced to a greater extent if compared to the receivers of old-age pensions who did not have any job and did not conduct any business.
  5. Consequently, the legal regulation laid down in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law created such a legal situation where a person had to choose either to have a certain job or conduct a certain business and receive an old-age pension reduced to a greater extent, or not to have any job and not to conduct any business and receive such an old-age pension that is paid to all the receivers of the old-age pension who do not have any job and do not conduct any business. By creating, by means of the disputed legal regulation, preconditions to reduce old-age pensions for the receivers of old-age pensions who have a certain job or conduct a certain business, namely due to the fact that they have a certain job or conduct a certain business, to a greater extent if compared to the receivers of old-age pensions who neither have any job, nor conduct any business, the legislator restricted the right of the said former persons to freely choose a job or conduct a certain business, which is entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, since, upon the implementation of that right, the old-age pension awarded to these persons, solely due to the fact that they had a certain job or conducted a certain business, was reduced to a greater extent if compared to the receivers of old-age pensions who did not have any job and did not conduct any business.
  6. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution;

– Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.

  1. Having held this, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will not investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, was not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will inter alia investigate the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this paragraph regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. On 26 October 2010, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 5, 7, 8 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which came into force on 1 December 2010. By means of Article 4 of that law, inter alia one amended Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which are being disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue.

20.1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, which is also being disputed by the petitioners in the constitutional justice case at issue, is set forth as follows:

“1. The receivers of the state social insurance old-age and retirement pensions recalculated according to Articles 6 and 7 of this law, as well as the receivers of compensations for special working conditions (hereinafter in this article—receivers of pensions), who (upon awarding of a pension) are or were insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 1, 3, 4, 5 and 13 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions and who had the insured income in the preceding calendar month, shall be paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the preceding calendar month.”

After comparing the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law with the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of this law, it needs to be noted that, although the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law was amended, it has not changed in the aspect disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, i.e. Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of this law provides that for the persons who have a certain job and have the insured income and who (upon awarding of a pension) are covered, on a compulsory basis, by the state social pension insurance, solely due to the fact that these persons have a certain job, old-age pensions are reduced to a greater extent if compared to the receivers of old-age pensions who do not have any job.

20.2. Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law is set forth as follows:

“The receivers of pensions who are specified in Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions shall be paid the main part of the state social insurance pension, which is established in Article 6 of this law, and the additional pay for the length of record. After the end of the tax period the pensions of the said persons shall be recalculated for a respective tax period, while taking account of the amount of the taxable income or taxable profit declared in the annual income tax return or annual corporate income tax return, by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law. In cases where during the tax period the said persons are also insured by the state social pension insurance under Items 1, 3, 4, 5 and 13 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the payable part of the pension shall be calculated according to the provisions of Paragraph 1 of this Article.”

After comparing the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law with the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, it needs to be noted that, although the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law was amended, it has not changed in the aspect that is being investigated in the constitutional justice case at issue, i.e. Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of this law provides that for the persons who conduct a certain business and who (upon awarding of a pension) are covered, on a compulsory basis, by the state social pension insurance, solely due to the fact that these persons conduct a certain business, old-age pensions are reduced to a greater extent if compared to the receivers of old-age pensions who do not conduct any business.

  1. Thus, it needs to be held that, by the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, it was established that for the persons specified in the said paragraphs, solely due to the fact that they had a certain job or conducted a certain business, old-age pensions were reduced to a greater extent if compared to the receivers of old-age pensions who did not have any job and did not conduct any business.
  2. Having held in this ruling that Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, on the basis of the same arguments it also needs to be held that Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  3. Having held this, the Constitutional Court in the constitutional justice case at issue will not further investigate whether Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of state social insurance old-age pensions, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  4. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 December 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  5. Having held in this ruling that Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, on the basis of the same arguments it needs also to be held that Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  6. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 December 2010) of Article 8 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it provides for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.

VII

On the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it includes the state pensions established in Items 1–4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law
  2. The petitioner has grounded its doubts inter alia on the fact that, according to it, by the disputed legal regulation one reduced (on a termless basis) the maximum amount of the state pension, as well as the maximum amount of the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions awarded to the same person from the amount of 1.5 to 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, and it was done without establishing any compensation for the incurred losses for those persons who has been awarded and paid the state pension.
  3. On 22 December 1994, the Seimas adopted the Law on State Pensions, which came into force on 1 January 1995. Article 1 of this law established the following state pensions: the state pension of the President of the Republic, state pensions of the Republic of Lithuania of the first and second degree, state pensions of victims, and state pensions of officials and servicemen. Article 3 (wording of 22 December 1994) of the Law on State Pensions prescribed that a person who has the right to receive several state pensions is paid only one of them at his choice, with the exception of the state survivor’s and orphan’s pension, which may also be paid only in conjunction with one of the state pensions, also that state social insurance pensions are paid irrespective of the fact whether state pensions are paid, provided laws do not establish otherwise.

This Law on State Pensions has been amended and supplemented more than once.

3.1. On 8 December 2009, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3, 6, 8 and 15 of the Law on State Pensions, whose Article 1 amended Paragraph 3 (wording of 12 December 2006) of Article 3, in which it used to be established: “The amount of each state pension established in Items 2–5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this Law, as well as the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person under Paragraph 1 of this Article may not exceed per person the amount of 1.5 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid. Limitation of the amount of the pension shall be applied by the institution paying the state pension” and set it forth as follows: “The amount of each state pension established in Items 1-5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this Law, as well as the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person under Paragraph 1 of this Article may not exceed per person the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid. Limitation of the amount of the pension shall be applied by the institution paying the state pension.”

Thus, the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3, 6, 8 and 15 of the Law on State Pensions reduced the maximum amount of the state pension, as well as the maximum amount of the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person from the amount of 1.5 to 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid.

3.2. It needs to be noted that the Law on the Amendment of Articles 3, 6, 8 and 15 of the Law on State Pensions came into force on 1 January 2010, i.e. on the same day as the Provisional Law. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 4 “Procedure for Recalculation of State Pensions, Rents and Compensations” of the Provisional Law, one recalculates inter alia the state pensions that are awarded and limited under the procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions. It needs also to be noted that Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law establishes equal recalculation of state pensions for both those persons whose state pension as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person exceed the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, and those persons whose awarded state pension as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person do not exceed the said amount.

Thus, the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions is to be assessed also in the context of adoption of the Provisional Law.

It has been mentioned that the Provisional Law, as it is stated in the Preamble thereto, was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the State Budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; it established the procedure for recalculation of social payments implying inter alia the temporary reduction of the awarded social payments.

Thus, having reduced, under Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, the maximum amount of the state pension as well as the maximum amount of the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person, one sought not to reorganise (reform) the system of pensionary maintenance, but inter alia, having reduced the pensions, to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget, which had been caused by the economic crisis.

3.3. Paragraph 1 (wording of 12 December 2006) of Article 1 of the Law on State Pensions prescribes: “The following state pensions shall be established in the Republic of Lithuania: (1) state pensions of the first and second degree; (2) victims’ state pensions; (3) officials’ and servicemen’s state pensions; (4) scientists’ state pensions; (5) judges’ state pensions.”

It needs to be noted that, as it has been mentioned, by the Constitutional Court ruling of 29 June 2010, the provision “The sum total of the size of each state <…> pension established in Items 1–5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law and the state pensions awarded under Paragraph 1 of this article and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person may not exceed per person the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid” of Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as the formula “of each state pension established in Items 1–5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law” includes the state pension of judges established in Item 5 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, was recognised as being in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 109 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law; this ruling of the Constitutional Court was published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” and came into force on 16 November 2010; upon coming into force of the Constitutional Court ruling of 29 June 2010, the legal power of the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 August 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it is recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution, is abolished; this legal regulation is removed from the Lithuanian legal system for good so that it may never be applied anymore.

3.4. On 12 November 2010, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions (which came into force on 27 November 2010, i.e. already after the official promulgation and coming into force of the Constitutional Court ruling of 29 June 2010), whereby Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 August 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions was set forth in a new wording; the legal regulation established therein changed only in the aspect that instead of the words “the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” one wrote the words “the Lithuanian Statistics Department”.

Thus, the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 August 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, in the aspect that it was recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution by the Constitutional Court ruling of 29 June 2010, has been removed from the Lithuanian legal system so that it may never be applied anymore.

  1. While construing the disputed legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 August 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions in the context of other provisions of this law and the Provisional Law, it needs to be noted that:

– the legislator reduced the maximum amount of the state pension, as well as the maximum amount of the sum total of the amount of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person from the amount of 1.5 to 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid;

– Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law established equal recalculation of state pensions for both those persons whose state pension as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person exceed the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid (and therefore, according to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, the state pensions had to be reduced in a corresponding manner) and those persons whose awarded state pension as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person did not exceed the said amount (therefore, according to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, the state pensions did not have to be reduced);

– by such legal regulation, one sought not to reorganise (reform) the system of pensionary maintenance, but inter alia, having reduced the pensions, to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget, which had been caused by the economic crisis;

– neither the Law on the State Pensions, nor the Provisional Law establishes the period of time, for which those persons, whose state pension, awarded and paid prior to the said reduction,  as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person exceeded the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, will be paid inter alia such reduced state pension, and whether the losses incurred due to this reduction will be compensated.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue that the Constitutional Court will investigate the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it includes the state pensions established in Items 1–4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, with inter alia Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. It has also been mentioned that the Constitutional Court has held that the peculiarities of state pensions permit the legislator, taking account of all the significant circumstances and heeding the norms and principles of the Constitution, to establish the corresponding conditions for awarding these pensions; by means of the law, the legislator may establish the maximum amount of such pensions, as well as entrench various ways for establishment of the maximum amount of such a pension; on the other hand, in the case of the state pensions, the provision regarding the obligation undertaken by the state by the law to award and pay the corresponding pension to the person who meets the conditions established by the law and regarding the right of the said person to demand that the state fulfil such an obligation undertaken by the law, is also effective.

The Constitutional Court has also held that the Constitution does not prevent from reorganising the system of pensionary maintenance; in such a case one must provide for a sufficient transitional time period during which the persons who have a corresponding job or perform a corresponding service which entitles them to a respective pension (i.e. state pension) under the previous regulation, would be able to prepare for these changes (Constitutional Court ruling of 22 October 2007, decision of 20 April 2010).

  1. While assessing the compliance of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, to the specified extent, with the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, as it has been mentioned, by the legal regulation established in this paragraph, one sought not to reorganise the system of pensionary maintenance, but inter alia to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget, which had been caused by the economic crisis.
  2. In this context, one is to mention the following provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, which were formulated by the Constitutional Court in the context of Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, while construing the discretion of the legislator, upon the occurrence of an extraordinary situation (inter alia due to an economic crisis), to reduce the state pensions:

– even when due to special circumstances (economic crisis etc.) there occurs an especially grave economic and financial situation in the state, one must heed the principle of protection of the acquired right under Article 23 of the Constitution;

– the legislator is under obligation to provide for a mechanism of compensation of incurred losses to the persons to whom a state pension was awarded and paid, whereby, after the said extreme situation is over, the state would undertake an obligation before such persons to compensate them, within a reasonable time and in a fair manner, the losses incurred by them due to the reduction of the state pension to a great extent; the losses incurred due to the reduction of state pensions may be compensated to a smaller extent than the losses incurred due to the reduction of old age or disability pensions;

– even in exceptional cases (for example, when due to an economic crisis, natural disaster etc., there is objective lack of funds which are necessary for the payment of pensions) the reduced (while paying heed to the constitutional principle of proportionality) pensions can be paid only on a temporary basis (i.e. only when there is an extraordinary situation in the state);

– the legislator may correct the legal regulation of state pensions, which in their nature and character are different from old age pensions as well as from disability pensions, by reducing these pensions to greater extent than old age and disability pensions; the legislator is under obligation to establish a uniform and non-discriminatory scale of reduction of awarded and paid pensions whereby the pensions would be reduced in a manner not violating the proportions of the amounts of the pensions established prior to the occurrence of the particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state.

  1. In this Constitutional Court ruling it has been mentioned that the legislator, seeking inter alia to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget, which had been caused by the economic crisis, reduced (by means of the disputed legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions)) the maximum size of the state pension as well as the maximum size of the sum total per person of the size of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person from the amount of 1.5 to 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid.

Thus, under Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, the reduction of pensions has been established not for all the receivers of these pensions. The reduction of the state pension was established for those persons, whose state pension (awarded prior to such reduction) as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person exceeded the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, while for those persons, whose state pension (awarded prior to such reduction) as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person did not exceed the said amount, the reduction of the state pension was not established.

It has also been mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, one established equal recalculation of state pensions for both those persons whose state pension as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person exceeded the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid (and therefore, according to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, the state pensions had to be reduced in a corresponding manner) and those persons, whose awarded state pension as well as the sum total of this pension and other pensions awarded to the same person did not exceed the said amount (therefore, according to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, the state pensions did not have to be reduced), therefore, under the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, the state pensions should not have been reduced.

Consequently, the reduction of state pensions due to particularly grave economic and financial situation, upon the occurrence of an extraordinary situation, established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions was uneven because it violated the proportions of the amounts of the state pensions established prior to the occurrence of the particularly grave economic and financial situation in the state.

  1. Under the Constitution, inter alia Articles 23, 29 and 52 thereof and the Constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the legislator is under obligation to establish a uniform and non-discriminatory scale of reduction of pensions whereby the pensions would be reduced in a manner not violating the proportions of the amounts of the state pensions established prior to the occurrence of the particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state.

It needs to be held that by the legal regulation established in Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it is prescribed that the amount of the state pension as well as the sum total of the amount of this pension and other state pensions and state social insurance pensions awarded to the same person may not exceed per person the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid, one deviated from the requirements which stem from Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. Taking account of the arguments set forth, a conclusion is to be made that Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it included the state pensions established in Items 1–4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, was in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. On the grounds of the same arguments, a conclusion is to be made that Paragraph 3 (wording of 12 December 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it includes the state pensions established in Items 1–4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, is in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. Having held that Paragraph 3 (wordings of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions to the specified extent was (is) in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate its compliance with Article 48 of the Constitution.

VIII

On the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to petitions of the petitioner, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the recalculation of state pensions, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. The petitioner has grounded its doubts regarding the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, to the specified extent, with the Constitution inter alia upon the fact that, according to the petitioner, upon application of the coefficient under the disputed legal regulation the reduction of the awarded state pensions was provided for, however, the Provisional Law has not established any compensation for the losses incurred due to such reduction.
  3. In this ruling it has been mentioned that the Provisional Law, as it is stated in the Preamble thereto, was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the State Budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; it established the procedure for recalculation of social payments implying inter alia the temporary reduction of the awarded social payments.
  4. Paragraph 1 (disputed to the specified extent by the petitioner) of Article 4 “The Procedure for Recalculation of State Pensions, Annuities and Compensation” of the Provisional Law prescribes:

“1. The awarded state pensions, curtailed under procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions (pensions of officials and servicemen—together with the paid additional pay of the amount of the state social insurance basic pension) and the annuities, specified in Items 1 and 3 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of this Law, as well as state social insurance pensions of survivors shall be recalculated by applying the corresponding coefficient calculated under the formula specified in Annex 1 to this Law. If the same person receives two or more payments specified in this Paragraph, in the course of recalculation of the new payable amount of each payment, all received payments shall be added and recalculated by applying the corresponding coefficient, calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 1 to this Law, to the sum of the payments.”

Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law provides that, in the course of recalculation of inter alia the state pension awarded to a person, as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities, state social insurance pensions of survivors, awarded to a person, one must apply the coefficient, calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 1 to this Law, both in the cases when this payment (sum of payments) is limited under procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, and in the cases when it is not limited, since it did not exceed the amount of 1.3 of the average monthly remuneration for work in the economy of the country, as announced by the Lithuanian Statistics Department (before 27 November 2010 known as the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania), for the quarter before the last quarter preceding the month for which the state pension is paid.

  1. Annex 1 “The Formula for Calculating the Coefficient Applied in Calculating a Part of State Pensions, Annuities and Compensations” prescribes:

“K = 0,95, where P < = LTL 70;

K = 1 – {0,05 + [(0,1 – 0,05): (200 – 70)] x (P – 70)}, when 70 < = P < = LTL 200;

K = 1 – {0,1 + [(0,15 – 0,1): (800 – 200)] x (P – 200)}, when 200 < = P < = LTL 800;

K = 1 – {0,15 + [(0,2 – 0,15): (1 800 – 800)] x (P – 800)}, when 800 < = P < = LTL 1800;

K = 0,8, when P > = 1800.

In this formula:

‘K’ shall mean the coefficient;

‘P’ shall mean the amount of the payment (sum of payments).”

  1. While construing Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law in conjunction with Annex 1 to the same law, it needs to be noted that both of them inter alia prescribe that in the course of recalculation of the state pension, as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities, state social insurance pensions of survivors, awarded to a person, both in the cases when this payment (sum of payments) is limited under procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, and in the cases when it is not limited, the payment (sum of payments) calculated according to the established formula may be reduced no more than 20 per cent.
  2. The legal regulation disputed by the petitioner is to be construed in the context of other provisions of the Provisional Law.

7.1. It has been mentioned that Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law inter alia prescribed:

“This Law shall apply to persons who receive the following social payments:

1) the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, the Republic of Lithuania Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Republic of Lithuania Law on the State Pensions of Judges, and the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists.”

In this context it needs to be mentioned that, under the Law on State Pensions, which is lex generalis with regard to the Republic of Lithuania on State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions of Judges and the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions of Scientists, the following state pensions are established in the Republic of Lithuania: 1) pensions of the first and second degree of the Republic of Lithuania (inter alia state survivors’ and orphans’ pensions); 2) victims’ state pensions; 3) officials’ and servicemen’s state pensions; 4) scientists’ state pensions; 5) judges’ state pensions.

Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, which to the specified extent is being disputed by the petitioner, regulates inter alia the procedure for recalculation of pensions of the first and second degree of the Republic of Lithuania (inter alia state survivors’ and orphans’ pensions), victims’ state pensions, officials’ and servicemen’s state pensions, scientists’ state pensions, and judges’ state pensions.

7.2. It has been mentioned that the Provisional Law established that the provisions of this law would be applied only temporarily, i.e. after the established period is over, it was provided that the legal regulation, which had been applied prior to the entry into force of provisions of the Provisional Law, would become applicable:

– Article 15 of the Provisional Law established that the awarded pensions would be reduced for a period longer than one budget year, i.e. the fact that the procedure, laid down by this law, for the recalculation and payment of social payments, inter alia state and state social insurance pensions, which implied the reduction of these payments, was applicable from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011; when this article was set forth in the wording of 2 July 2010, the aforesaid provision remained intact;

– after Article 15 (wording of 2 July 2010 m) of the Provisional Law had been amended by the Law on Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which was adopted by the Seimas on 20 December 2011, the validity of provisions of the Provisional Law was extended for one more budget year—till 31 December 2012.

7.3. It has also been mentioned that the Provisional Law inter alia prescribes:

– “the marginal amount of the state pension is an amount whereby the state pensions (those of officials and servicemen—together with the paid additional pay of the amount of the state social insurance pension) not exceeding that amount are not, according to Annex 1 of the this Law, recalculated” (Paragraph 3 of Article 2);

– “marginal amounts of the state pension and social insurance maternity (paternity) benefits are approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, by taking into account the revenues and expenditures of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund and those of the Republic of Lithuania state budget of the corresponding year or corresponding period of the year” (Paragraph 2 of Article 3);

– “the marginal amount of the state pension is not applied to the receivers of state pensions who at the same time receive the state social insurance pension of old-age or of lost capacity to work (disability) as well as to receivers of state survivors’ and orphans’ pensions” (Paragraph 4 of Article 4);

– “if an amount of the state pension recalculated according to Annex 1 of this law is lower than, or is equal to, the marginal amount of the state pension, a state pension of the marginal amount of the state pension is paid” (Paragraph 5 of Article 4).

In this context it needs to be noted that in Item 1.3 of Government Resolution No. 210 “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income in 2011, the Marginal Amounts of Social Insurance Maternity (Paternity) Benefits and State Pensions” of 23 February 2011 (hereinafter also referred to as Government resolution No. 210 of 23 February 2011), which came into force on 27 February 2011, the marginal amount of a state pension was approved, which was LTL 650.

Thus, the state pension awarded to persons is not recalculated provided it does not exceed LTL 650, whereas in cases when the amount of the state pension awarded to persons, upon recalculation of the pension, is smaller than or equal to LTL 650, the state pension of the amount of LTL 650 is paid. Such a marginal amount of the state pension is not applied, when the receivers of state pensions at the same time receive the state social insurance pension of old-age or of lost capacity to work (disability), as well as to receivers of state survivors’ and orphans’ pensions.

7.4. It needs to be noted that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 “Proposals for the Government” of the Provisional Law, wherein it is proposed that the Government prepare and approve, by 1 July 2010, the inventory schedule of the procedure for the compensation for reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work, does not contain a proposal that the Government prepare and approve an inventory schedule of the procedure for compensation for the reduced state pension and compensation for the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities and state social insurance pensions of survivors. The rest of the articles (paragraphs thereof) of the Provisional Law do not contain any provisions, either, providing for compensation for the reduced state pensions as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities and state social insurance pensions of survivors.

As mentioned, in its ruling of 29 June 2010, the Constitutional Court inter alia recognised that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this paragraph did not propose that the Government prepare and approve the inventory schedule of the procedure for compensation of the state pensions reduced to a large extent, was in conflict with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. While summing up the disputed legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law in the context of the other aforesaid provisions of this law, it needs to be noted that:

– under this legal regulation inter alia the state pensions (pensions of the first and second degree of the Republic of Lithuania (inter alia state survivors’ and orphans’ pensions), victims’ state pensions, officials’ and servicemen’s state pensions, scientists’ state pensions, and judges’ state pensions) are recalculated;

– in the course of recalculation of the state pension, as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities, state social insurance pensions of survivors, awarded to a person, both in the cases when this payment (sum of payments) is limited under procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, and in the cases when it is not limited, the payment (sum of payments) calculated according to the established formula may be reduced no more than 20 per cent;

– the state pension awarded to persons is not recalculated provided it does not exceed LTL 650, whereas in cases when the amount of the state pension awarded to persons, upon recalculation of the pension, is smaller than or equal to LTL 650, the state pension of the amount of LTL 650 is paid; such a marginal amount of the state pension is not applied, when the receivers of state pensions at the same time receive the state social insurance pension of old-age or of lost capacity to work (disability), as well as to receivers of state survivors’ and orphans’ pensions;

– the Provisional Law does not contain any provisions providing for compensation for the reduced state pensions as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities and state social insurance pensions of survivors.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to petitions of the petitioner, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate whether Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the recalculation of the state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

It has also been mentioned that the petitioner has grounded its doubts regarding the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, to the specified extent, with the Constitution inter alia upon the fact that, according to the petitioner, under the disputed legal regulation, upon application of the corresponding coefficient the reduction of the awarded and recalculated state pensions was provided for, however, the Provisional Law has not established any compensation for the incurred losses in the state pensions awarded prior to the entry into force of this law.

  1. As mentioned, the Constitutional Court, while construing, in the context of Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the discretion of the legislator, upon occurrence of an extreme situation (inter alia due to an economic crisis) to reduce state pensions, has held that the legislator has a duty to provide for a mechanism of compensation of the incurred losses to the persons to whom a state pension was awarded and paid, whereby, after the said extreme situation is over, the state would undertake an obligation to such persons to compensate them, in a fair manner and within a reasonable time, the losses incurred by them due to the reduction of the state pension to a large extent.
  2. While assessing the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, to the specified extent, with Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be noted that, as mentioned, the Provisional Law was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the State Budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; it established the procedure for recalculation of social payments implying inter alia the temporary reduction of the awarded social payments. It also needs to be noted that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, in the course of recalculation of the state pension, as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities, state social insurance pensions of survivors, awarded to a person, both in the cases when this payment (sum of payments) is limited under procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, and in the cases when it is not limited, the payment (sum of payments) calculated according to the established formula may be reduced no more than 20 per cent.
  3. It has been mentioned that, under the Constitution, inter alia Articles 23, 29, 52 thereof and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, upon occurrence of an extreme situation (inter alia due to an economic crisis), when state pensions are being reduced, a duty emerges to the legislator to provide for a mechanism of compensation of the incurred losses to the persons to whom a state pension was awarded and paid only when the state pension is reduced to a large extent.

While taking account of the fact that the state pension, as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities, state social insurance pensions of survivors, awarded to a person was reduced, under Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, no more than 20 per cent, there are no grounds to hold that the state pensions were reduced to a large extent due to the legal regulation established in this paragraph.

  1. Having held this, there are no grounds to assert that, when one had not established a mechanism in the Provisional Law, whereby the losses would be compensated for the persons, to whom due to the recalculation (reduction), established in the disputed Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, of the state pension, as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities, state social insurance pensions of survivors, the state pensions awarded to a person prior to such recalculation (reduction), were reduced, one deviated from the requirements emerging from Articles 23, 29, 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. In this ruling it has been held that Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009 and 12 November 2010) of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, insofar as it includes the state pensions established in Items 1–4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, was (is) in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law; in itself, it does not mean that Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it is established therein that “state pensions, curtailed under procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions” are recalculated, is also in conflict with the Constitution.
  3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the recalculation of the state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  4. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue one is disputing the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the recalculation of the state pensions,with inter alia Article 48 of the Constitution.

In this context it needs to be noted that Article 48 of the Constitution does not regulate the relations of pensionary maintenance. Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of Provisional Law regulates the relations of different character than those regulated in Article 48 of the Constitution.

  1. While taking account of this, one is to hold that Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the recalculation of state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 48 of the Constitution.

IX

On the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with Article 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and on the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of this law with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, with Article 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as the compliance of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state pensions, with Articles 23 and 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. It has also been mentioned that the petitioner doubts whether the legislator complied with the Constitution properly, when, by the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, it provided for the reduction of state pensions for the persons who have a certain job or conduct certain business to a greater extent than for the persons who do not have any job and do not conduct any business.
  3. In this ruling it has been mentioned that the Provisional Law, as it is stated in the Preamble thereto, was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the State Budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; it inter alia established the procedure for recalculation of state pensions implying the temporary reduction of them.
  4. Article 5 “Payment of State Pensions, Annuities and Compensation for Persons Who Have the Insured Income” (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law, Paragraphs 1 and 2 of which are disputed by the petitioner, established the following:

“1. The receivers of the state pensions, the awarding and/or paying of which is inseparable from the insured income of a person, annuities for former sportsmen who work in the field of physical education and sports, compensational payments for the employers of theatres and concert institutions, and relief compensations recalculated under the procedure established in Article 4 of this Law, who, after the payment is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, or receive the social insurance benefits of sickness (including those paid by the employer on sickness days), maternity, paternity, maternity (paternity) paid under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, the sickness social insurance benefits of accident at work or occupational disease paid under the Law on Social Insurance of Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases (hereinafter in this Law this income and payments will be referred to as the insured income), with the exception of persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, shall be paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income of the month for which the payment is paid, if the payment is paid for the preceding month. In case when the payment is paid for the current month, one shall take account of the insured income of the preceding month.

  1. If the receivers of the payments specified in Paragraph 1 of this Article are covered by the state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, during the period of their insurance by the state social pension insurance they shall be paid 50 per cent of the payment belonging to them.
  2. The provisions of Paragraph 2 of this Law shall not apply where a receiver of a pension is the owner of an individual enterprise, a member of a general partnership or a member of a limited partnership, but the individual enterprise or partnership temporarily does not carry out any activities and has declared that in accordance with the procedure established by the Republic of Lithuania Law on Tax Administration and the legal acts implementing that law.
  3. The part of the state pensions, annuities and compensational payments to be paid under the procedure established in this article shall be calculated and applied by the institutions which administer these payments.
  4. The insurer must every month submit the data about the monthly insured income of the receivers of state pensions, annuities or compensational payments who have a job to the territorial departments of the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (hereinafter referred to as the State Social Insurance Fund Board) under the procedure set by the State Social Insurance Fund Board.
  5. The data on the insured income of the receiver of the state pension, annuity or compensational payment shall be provided to the institution paying the state pension, annuity or compensational payment by the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the procedure and terms established in data supply agreements.”
  6. Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law regulates inter alia payment of the state pensions to the persons who have the insured income and who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (with the exception of persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions). These persons, upon recalculation of the state pensions according to Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, are paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law.

The provisions of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law regulate inter alia payment of state pensions to the persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions—they are paid 50 per cent of the payment belonging to them.

  1. The legal regulation disputed by the petitioners is to be construed in conjunction with other provisions of the Provisional Law.

6.1. It has been noted in this ruling that when Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law is construed in conjunction with Annex 1 to the same law, both of them inter alia prescribe that in the course of recalculation of the state pension, as well as the sum total of several state pensions or state pensions and annuities, state social insurance pensions of survivors, awarded to a person, both in the cases when this payment (sum of payments) is limited under procedure established in Paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Law on State Pensions, and in the cases when it is not limited, the payment (sum of payments) calculated according to the established formula may be reduced no more than 20 per cent.

6.2. While construing the legal regulation enshrined in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law in conjunction with the legal regulation enshrined in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Annex 1 of this law, it needs to be noted that for the persons who have the insured income and who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (save the provided exceptions) the state pensions have been recalculated (reduced) according to Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, while under Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of this law, they have been recalculated once more by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula established in Annex 2 of this law.

6.3. While construing the legal regulation enshrined in Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law in conjunction with the legal regulation enshrined in Paragraph 1 of Article 5 and Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of this law, it needs to be noted that for the persons specified in this paragraph who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Item 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Pension Insurance, for whom the state pensions have been recalculated (reduced) according to Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, these pensions are recalculated once again so that they are paid only 50 per cent of the payment belonging to them.

  1. As it has been mentioned, while recalculating the state pensions according to the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law and while applying the formula established in Annex 2, the pensions are not reduced only for the persons whose insured income during a month does not exceed LTL 100.

While construing the legal regulation enshrined in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law which is disputed by the petitioner in conjunction with the legal regulation enshrined in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law and Annexes 1 and 2 of this law, it needs to be noted that for the persons who have the insured income and who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance (save the provided exceptions) the state pensions have been recalculated (reduced) according to Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law, while under Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of this law, they have been recalculated (reduced) once more by taking account of the insured income received by them.

  1. The legal regulation disputed by the petitioners which is established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law is to be construed in conjunction with the provisions of other laws which regulate the relations of the state social insurance pensions.
  2. As it has been mentioned, under the legal regulation established in Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005 with subsequent amendments and supplements) and in Items 1 and 2 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Law on State Social Insurance (wording of 4 November 2004 with subsequent amendments and supplements), the persons who have a certain job as well as the persons who conduct a certain business are insured by the state social pension insurance in an obligatory manner.

While construing the legal regulation disputed by the petitioners which is enshrined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law in conjunction with the legal regulation enshrined in the Law on State Social Insurance (wording of 4 November 2004 with subsequent amendments and supplements), in the Law on State Social Pension Insurance (wording of 19 May 2005 with subsequent amendments and supplements), inter alia Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 thereof, it needs to be noted that, under the provisions of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, the state pensions are recalculated for the persons who have the insured income and are insured by the obligatory state social pensions insurance, who have a certain job, with the exception of persons who conduct a certain business; for them, the state pensions are recalculated once more according to the provisions of Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Provisional Law.

It needs to be noted that the provisions of Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law are not applicable to the persons who receive state pensions, but who do not have any job or do not conduct any business.

  1. Thus, it needs to be held that the legal regulation which is disputed by the petitioner established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law established that for the persons who have a certain job or conduct a certain business, who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance, only due to the fact that they have a certain job or conduct a certain business, the state pensions are reduced to a greater extent than for those receivers of the state pensions who do not have any job or do not conduct any business.
  2. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, of Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state pensions, with inter alia the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  3. It has been mentioned that under the occurrence of such an extreme situation in the state (economic crisis, etc.) when there is objective lack of funds for the payment of pensions, the legal regulation of pensionary relations may be corrected also by reducing the awarded and paid pensions to the extent that it is necessary to ensure vitally important interests of society and protect other constitutional values, however, while regulating the pensionary relations, one must heed Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, which inter alia enshrines the opportunity of a human being to choose a job and business at his own discretion (i.e. at his own free decision); when there is an especially grave economic and financial situation in the state and when, due to this, there is a necessity temporarily to reduce the awarded and paid pensions in order to secure vitally important interests of society and the state and to protect other constitutional values, it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation whereby the state pension awarded and paid to the persons who have a certain occupation or conduct a certain business would be reduced, due to this, to a greater extent if compared with the persons who do not have any occupation and do not conduct any business.
  4. Thus, it needs to be held that by the disputed legal regulation established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law one established that for the persons, who have a certain job or conduct a certain business, who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance, only due to the fact that they have a certain job or conduct a certain business, the state pensions are reduced to a greater extent than for those receivers of pensions who do not have any job or do not conduct any business.
  5. Therefore, by the legal regulation established in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, one created such a legal situation, where a person had to choose whether to have a certain job or conduct a certain business and receive a more reduced state pension, or not to have any job, not to conduct any business and receive such state pension which is paid to all receivers of the state pensions who do not work and do not conduct any business. Having created (by means of the disputed legal regulation) the preconditions to reduce the state pensions for the receivers of the state pensions who have a certain job or conduct a certain business to a greater extent than for those receivers of the state pensions who do not have any job or do not conduct any business namely due to the fact that they have a certain job or conduct a certain business, the legislator restricted their right to freely choose a job or business which is enshrined in Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, since upon implementation of this right, the state pension awarded to them was reduced to a greater extent than for those receivers of the state pensions who do not work or conduct any business only due to the fact that they had a certain job or conducted a certain business.
  6. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that:

– Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution;

– Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.

  1. Having held this, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will not investigate whether:

– Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulated the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was not in conflict with Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulated the payment of the reduced state pensions, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulates the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, with Article 29 of the Constitution, the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 and Article 52 of the Constitution, and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. On 11 February 2010, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which came into force on 1 March 2010. Article 1 of this law amended Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law which is disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue and set it forth as follows:

“The receivers of the state pensions, the awarding and/or paying of which is inseparable from the insured income of a person, annuities for former sportsmen who work in the field of physical education and sports, compensational payments for the employers of theatres and concert institutions, and relief compensations recalculated under the procedure established in Article 4 of this Law, who, after the payment is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, or receive the social insurance benefits of sickness (including those paid by the employer on sickness days), maternity, paternity, maternity (paternity) paid under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, the sickness social insurance benefits of accident at work or occupational disease paid under the Law on Social Insurance of Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases (hereinafter in this Law this income and payments will be referred to as the insured income), with the exception of persons who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance according to Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, shall be paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account the amount of the received insured income. In case when the payment is paid for the current month, one shall take account of the insured income of the preceding month, while when the payment is paid for the last month, one shall take account of the insured income of the month preceding the last month for which the payment is paid.”

Having compared the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law with the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of this Law, it needs to be noted that even though the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law was amended, it did not change in the aspect which is disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, i.e. Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law established that state pensions would be reduced to a greater extent for the persons who have a certain job, have the insured income and upon awarding of the pension are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance, if compared with the receivers of state pensions who do not have any job, only due to the fact that the former persons had a certain job.

  1. Having held in this ruling that Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, on the grounds of the same arguments, one is also to hold that Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  2. Having held that, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate in the constitutional justice case at issue whether Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it regulated the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was not in conflict with Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. It has been mentioned that on 26 October 2010, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 5, 7, 8 of the Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which came into force on 1 December 2010. Article 2 of this Law inter alia amended Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010) and Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law which are being disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue.

It has also been mentioned that, under the legal regulation established in Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law, with respect to inter alia state pensions, the time limit for the validity of the Provisional Law was extended for one more budget year—until 31 December 2012. Thus, Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law are also effective at present.

21.1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law is set forth as follows:

“1. The receivers of the state pensions, the awarding and/or paying of which is inseparable from the insured income of a person, annuities for former sportsmen who work in the field of physical education and sports, compensational payments for the employers of theatres and concert institutions, and relief compensations, who, after the payment is awarded, are (or were) insured by the obligatory state social pensions insurance according to Items 1, 3, 4, 5 and 13 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions and who had the income (during the month which is taken into account when the amount of the payment to be paid is calculated) from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, or receive (received) the social insurance benefits of sickness (including those paid by the employer on sickness days), maternity, paternity, maternity (paternity) paid under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, the sickness social insurance benefits of accident at work or occupational disease paid under the Law on Social Insurance of Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases (hereinafter in this Law this income and payments will be referred to as the insured income), shall be paid the part of the awarded payment and if the payment is recalculated according to Article 4 of this Law—a part of the recalculated payment, calculated by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law, by taking into account of the amount of the insured income. In case when the payment is paid for the current month, one shall take account of the insured income of the preceding month, while when the payment is paid for the last month, one shall take account of the insured income of the month preceding the last month for which the payment is paid.”

Having compared the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law with the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of this law, it needs to be noted that even though the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law was amended, it did not change in the aspect in which it is disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, i.e. Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law established that state pensions would be reduced to a greater extent for the persons who have a certain job, have the insured income and are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance, if compared with the receivers of state pensions who do not have any job, only due to the fact that the former persons had a certain job.

21.2. Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law is set forth as follows:

“If the receivers of payments specified in Paragraph 1 of this Article are persons specified in Item 8 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, they shall be paid 50 per cent of the payment belonging to them. When the tax period is over, the payments for these persons are recalculated for the corresponding tax period, taking account of the amount of the taxable income or taxable profit declared in the annual declaration of income tax or declaration of profit, by applying the coefficient calculated according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this law. If these persons (in the tax period) are covered by the state social pension insurance also under Items 1, 3, 4, 5 and 13 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the part of the payment to be paid is calculated according to the provisions of Paragraph 1 of this Article.”

Having compared the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law with the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of this law, it needs to be noted that even though the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law was amended, it did not change in the aspect in which it is disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, i.e. Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law establishes that state pensions will be reduced to a greater extent for the persons who conduct a certain business and who are insured by the obligatory state social pension insurance, if compared with the receivers of state pensions who do not conduct any business, only due to the fact that the former persons conduct a certain business.

  1. Thus, it needs to be held that by the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraphs 1 and 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, as well as by the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2011) and Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, one established and establishes that state pensions would be reduced to a greater extent to the persons (specified in those paragraphs), if compared to those receivers of state pensions who do not have any job or do not conduct any business, only due to the fact that the former persons have a certain job or conduct a certain business.
  2. Having held in this ruling that Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009 and 11 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, on the grounds of the same arguments, one is also to hold that Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the payment of the reduced state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, is in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  3. Taking into account of the arguments set forth, a conclusion is to be made that Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, is in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  4. Having held in this ruling that Paragraph 2 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution, on the grounds of the same arguments, one is also to hold that Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 February 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the payment of the reduced state pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, is in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.
  5. Taking account of the arguments set forth, a conclusion is to be made that Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it establishes the payment of the reduced state pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, is in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.

X

On the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 May 2009) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as it establishes that the sum of a part of the calculated old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. According to the petitioners, when the final term of payment of a part of the old-age and disability pensions was established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 November 2007) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, the persons gained a legitimate expectation that the non-received part of the pension would be paid till the end of the specified term. Upon postponement of this term, the state did not fulfil its obligations to pay the calculated part of the old-age pension properly, denied the legitimate expectations of the petitioner, created legal uncertainty and insecurity and thus violated the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. On 6 November 2007, the Seimas adopted the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, which came into force on 1 January 2008.

This law established the conditions and procedure for the payment of a part of state social insurance old-age and disability pensions for those recipients of the pensions, who, from 1 January 1995 till 31 December 2002 received not the entire awarded old-age or disability pension because they had the insured income of the corresponding amount (Article 1).

In this context it needs to be noted that in its ruling of 25 November 2002 the Constitutional Court inter alia held that the legal regulation entrenched in Article 23 (wording of 8 May 2001) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, to the extent that it provided that pensioners who have the obligatory state social pensions insurance period which is necessary for the old-age pension and who have the insured income exceeding 1 minimal monthly salary after they have been awarded the old-age pension shall be paid not the full state social insurance old-age pension which was awarded and paid until then, was in conflict with Article 23, the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 that every person may freely choose a job or business, and Article 52 of the Constitution, as well as with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law; it also needs to be noted that in its ruling of 3 December 2003 the Constitutional Court inter alia held that the legal regulation entrenched in Article 32 (wording of 8 May 2001) of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, whereby it was inter alia established that the disabled who had reached the age entitling to an old-age pension and those who were older, who, after awarding of a state social insurance disability pension, received income from which the obligatory state social pension insurance contributions were calculated and paid, should be paid not the whole awarded and previously paid state social insurance disability pension, was in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

In this context it also needs to be noted that the legislator, while adopting the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, which established inter alia the conditions and procedure for the payment of a part of state social insurance old-age and disability pensions for those recipients of the pensions, who, from 1 January 1995 till 31 December 2002 received not the entire awarded old-age or disability pension because they had the insured income of the corresponding amount, used its discretion to establish the legal regulation whereby it was provided to pay the part of the non-received pensions to the working recipients of old-age and disability pensions who had the insured income during the fixed period and, due to this, did not receive a part of the awarded old-age and disability pension.

  1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 November 2007) of Article 5 “The Procedure for Payment of the Sum of a Part of the Old-age or Disability Pension” of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions prescribed:

“The calculated sum of the part of the old-age or disability pension shall be paid to the person in 2008–2010 under procedure established by the Government. The territorial divisions of the Board of the State Social Insurance Fund under the Ministry of the Social Security and Labour (hereinafter referred to as the Board of the State Social Insurance Fund) and the Foreign Payment Service of the Board of the State Social Insurance Fund shall begin the payment of the sums of a part of old-age and disability pensions as from 1 July 2008.”

Thus, Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 November 2007) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions inter alia  established the term for the payment of the unpaid part of the old-age or disability pension: conforming to the procedure established by the Government, the unpaid part of the old-age or disability pension was to be paid in 2008–2010.

While construing the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 November 2007) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, one is to note that the legislator, while implementing its discretion to pay the unpaid parts of old-age or disability pensions to the recipients of the pensions, who used to work during a certain time period, chose a certain term (2008–2010), during which it was supposed to carry out its self-obligation to pay the unpaid part if old-age or disability pensions.

  1. On 8 December 2009, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, which, as well as the Provisional Law, came into force on 1 January 2010.

This law amended Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 November 2007) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions—the number “2012” was inscribed instead of the number “2010” and this paragraph was set forth as follows:

“The calculated sum of the part of the old-age or disability pension shall be paid to the person in 2008–2012 under procedure established by the Government. The territorial divisions of the Board of the State Social Insurance Fund under the Ministry of the Social Security and Labour (hereinafter referred to as the Board of the State Social Insurance Fund) and the Foreign Payment Service of the Board of the State Social Insurance Fund shall begin the payment of the sums of a part of old-age and disability pensions as from 1 July 2008.”

When the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 6 November 2007) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions with the one established in Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5, it is clear that this legal regulation became changed in the way that Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 provides that the calculated sum of the a part of the old-age or disability pension is to be paid in 2008–2012.

Thus, by the legal regulation entrenched Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 November 2009) of Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions the final term of payment of the part of the pensions was postponed.

While construing the disputed legal regulation in the context of the adoption of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, one is to note that the legislator, having taken a self-obligation to pay a part of old-age pension or disability pension, which had not been paid during a certain period, to working recipients of the pensions, and having established that this would be done during a certain time period (until a certain term—the end of 2010), prolonged the term (till the end of 2012) of fulfilment of its self-obligation.

  1. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that upon occurrence of an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state, when inter alia the collection of the State Budget revenue is disordered to the extent that due to this the state is unable to perform (inter alia while implementing its discretion) the financial self-obligations undertaken by it within the established terms, the legal regulation related to the fulfilment of these self-obligations may be amended by inter alia postponing the fulfilment of these self-obligations. While doing so, the legislator must observe the requirements emerging from the Constitution, inter alia the principles of justice, reasonableness and a state under the rule of law.
  2. It has been mentioned that the Law on Amending Article 5 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions (wording of 8 December 2009) came into force at the same time as the Provisional Law, i.e. on 1 January 2010; as it was held in the Preamble to the Provisional Law, it was adopted while taking account of the especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state and seeking to limit the growth of deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; it inter alia provided for the procedure for recalculation of social payments implying the temporary reduction of the social payments awarded prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law.

Thus, it is clear from the overall legal regulation of the Provisional Law that due to the very difficult economic and financial situation that occurred in the state in 2010–2011, the state was unable to fulfil the financial self-obligations undertaken by it.

  1. Consequently, the legislator, while taking into consideration inter alia the financial and economic capabilities of the state, while observing the requirements arising from the Constitution, inter alia from the constitutional principles of justice, reasonableness, and a state under the rule of law, was allowed to amend the legal regulation in the way so that this legal regulation, by establishing a different (later) term of the final fulfilment of these self-obligations, would prolong the fulfilment of the self-obligations undertaken by the state to pay the unpaid part of the old-age or disability pension to working recipients of the pensions.

Therefore, it needs to be held that Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights.

  1. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as it establishes that the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights.

XI

On the compliance of Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions approved by Government Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008 with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved by Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008, insofar as it establishes that the payment of the sum of a part of the old-age pension, which had remained unpaid, has been moved from the year 2010 to the year 2012, with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. According to the petitioners, the state, while amending the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure and repeatedly postponing the returning of the unpaid part of the old-age pension, did not fulfil its self-obligations to pay the calculated part of the old-age pension properly, denied the legitimate expectations of the petitioner, created legal uncertainty and insecurity and thus violated the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. On 26 February 2008, while invoking Article 9 of the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, the Government adopted Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” whereby it approved the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions. This Government resolution came into force on 29 February 2008.
  4. Item 6 (wording of 26 February 2008) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure prescribed:

“6. The sums of a part of old-age and disability pensions shall be paid in this order of sequence:

6.1. for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 75 or more years of age and for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were recipients of state social insurance pensions of lost capacity to work, which were awarded upon the loss of 75–100 per cent of the capacity to work—in July 2008;

6.2. for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 70 or more years of age—in March 2009;

6.3. for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 65 or more years of age—in October 2009;

6.4. for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were younger than 65 years of age—in March 2010;

6.5. for the recipients of pensions of old-age or lost capacity to work (disability), who deceased before 1 January 2008—in October 2010;

6.6. for the recipients of pensions of old-age or lost capacity to work (disability), who deceased after 1 January 2008—in pursuance with the procedure established in Items 6.1–6.4 of this Inventory Schedule, while taking account of the age of the deceased person on 1 January 2008.”

Thus, Item 6 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure established the procedure for payment of the calculated sums of the part of old-age and disability pensions.

Item 6.3 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure established the payment of the sum of the part of the old-age and disability pensions to the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 65 or more years of age: the calculated sum of the part of the pension was to be paid to them in October 2009.

  1. Item 6.3 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure has been amended more than once: by Government Resolution No. 610 “On Amending Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 ‘On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions’ of 26 February 2008” of 25 June 2008 (it came into force on 1 July 2008), by Government Resolution No. 1334 “On Amending Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 ‘On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions’ of 26 February 2008” of 15 December 2008 (it came into force on 21 December 2008), by Government Resolution No. 253 “On Amending Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 ‘On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions’ of 26 February 2008” of 6 April 2009 (it came into force on 12 April 2009), and by Government Resolution No. 1780 “On Amending Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 ‘On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of Sums of a Part of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions’ of 26 February 2008” of 23 December 2009 (hereinafter referred to as Government resolution No. 1780 of 23 December 2009) (it came into force on 1 January 2010).

5.1. After Item 6.3 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure, which was approved by Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008, had been amended, it established (establishes) that the sums of the part of old-age and disability pensions shall be paid in this order of sequence :

– for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 65 or more years of age—in June 2009 (wording of 25 June 2008);

– for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 65 or more years of age—in June 2009; if the calculated sum of the part of the old-age pension or disability pension does not exceed LTL 100 for a person, the calculated sum in the entire amount shall be paid; if the calculated sum of the part of the old-age pension or disability pension exceeds LTL 100 for a person, 50 per cent of the calculated sum shall be paid, whereas the rest of the sum shall be paid in June 2010 (wording of 15 December 2008);

– for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 65 or more years of age—in June 2009; if the calculated sum of the part of the old-age pension or disability pension does not exceed LTL 100 for a person, the calculated sum in the entire amount shall be paid; if the calculated sum of the part of the old-age pension or disability pension exceeds LTL 100 for a person, 50 per cent of the calculated sum shall be paid, but no more than LTL 830; the rest of the calculated sum shall be paid in June 2010 (wording of 6 April 2009);

– for the persons who, on 1 January 2008, were 65 or more years of age—in June 2009; if the calculated sum of the part of the old-age pension or disability pension does not exceed LTL 100 for a person, the calculated sum in the entire amount shall be paid; if the calculated sum of the part of the old-age pension or disability pension exceeds LTL 100 for a person, 50 per cent of the calculated sum shall be paid, but no more than LTL 830; the rest of the calculated sum shall be paid in June 2012 (wording of 23 December 2009).

5.2. While summing up what has been set forth above, one is to hold that Item 6.3 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved by Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008 was amended 4 times and every time a different procedure and/or terms for payment of the sums of the part of pensions was established.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that after the Government resolution No. 1780 23 December 2009 had set forth Item 6.3 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure in the wording of 23 December 2009, which is being disputed by the petitioners, the said item established that the payment of the part of old-age or disability pension, unpaid for the persons in June 2009, was moved from June 2010 to June 2012.

  1. As mentioned, the Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008 that approved Item 6.3 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure (wording of 23 December 2009), which is being disputed by the petitioners, was adopted while implementing the Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions.

It has been mentioned that the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions (in this paragraph it is inter alia established that the calculated sum of the part of the old-age or disability pension shall be paid to the person in 2008–2012 under procedure established by the Government) postponed the term of the payment of a part of old-age and disability pensions, i.e. it was established that the unpaid part of the old-age or disability pensions would be paid in 2012.

Consequently, while implementing the provisions of Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, the Government, by means of the legal regulation, disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, entrenched in Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure, postponed the term of the fulfilment of the self-obligations undertaken by the legislator till June 2012.

  1. In this ruling it has been held that Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension is paid to a person in the years 2008-2012, is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and equality of rights.
  2. Since the legal regulation entrenched in Item 6.3 of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure implemented Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, there are not any legal arguments for asserting that the legal regulation established in Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure approved by Government resolution No. 144 of 26 February 2008, insofar as this item establishes that the payment of the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension has been moved from the year 2010 to the year 2012, is in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  3. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one is to draw a conclusion that Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions approved by Government Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008, insofar as it establishes that the payment of the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension has been moved from the year 2010 to the year 2012, is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

XII

On the compliance of Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions approved by Government Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994 with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. It has been mentioned that, subsequent to the petitions of the petitioners, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions approved by Government Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994, insofar as it establishes the legal regulation whereby one implements the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. The doubts of the petitioners regarding the compliance of Item 146 of the Regulations with the Constitution are grounded on the same arguments as regarding the compliance of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution, i.e. upon the fact that the disputed legal regulation that reduced state social insurance old-age pensions, which had been awarded prior to the entry into force of this law, implied legal uncertainty, vagueness of acquired rights, denied legitimate expectations of a person, and violated the principle of inviolability of ownership entrenched in Article 23 of the Constitution. In addition, upon recalculation of the pensions, one also violated the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, proportionality and equality of rights, as according to the disputed legal regulation, the awarded old-age pensions were reduced disproportionately and not equally to all persons.
  3. On 18 November 1994, the Government adopted Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions”, which came into force on 1 January 1995. By means of this resolution, while invoking the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the Government approved the Regulations wherein it inter alia established the procedure for awarding and payment of state social insurance pensions.

The Regulations approved by Government resolution No. 1156 of 18 November 1994 have been amended and/or supplemented more than once inter alia by Government Resolution No. 754 “On Amending Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 1156 ‘On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions’ of 18 November 1994” of 1 July 2005 whereby the Regulations were set forth in a new wording.

  1. On 23 December 2009, the Government adopted Resolution No. 1783 “On Amending Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 1156 ‘On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions’ of 18 November 1994”, which came into force on 1 January 2010.

By Item 1.4.10 of this resolution the Regulations were supplemented by new Chapter XIV “The Recalculation and Payment of Pensions During the Period of the Validity of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments”, which was composed of Items 145–152.

5. In this context it needs to be noted that Item 2.1 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations provides that Items 145–154 of the Regulations are applied during the period of the validity of the Provisional Law.

It has been mentioned that the Provisional Law was applied to the persons receiving old-age pensions till 31 December 2011.

Thus, upon ceasing the application of the provisions of the Provisional Law with regard to the persons receiving old-age pensions, Item 146 of the Regulation is no longer applied, either.

  1. Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) (which is being disputed by the petitioners) of the Regulations prescribed:

“If the amount of the old-age pension awarded to a person, or that of the pension of lost capacity to work awarded upon losing 60–70 per cent of capacity to work (Group II disability pension), or that of an early old-age pension exceeds the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, whereas the amount of the awarded orphans’ (loss of breadwinner) pension exceeds half of the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension, the pension shall be recalculated under procedure established in Article 6 of the Provisional Law. The pension of lost capacity to work awarded upon losing 45–55 per cent of capacity to work (Group III disability pension) is recalculated in case the amount of this pension, if calculated as for a person who lost 60–70 per cent of capacity to work (Group II disability pension), exceeds the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension.”

Thus, Item 146 of the Regulations inter alia used to provide that the old-age pension awarded to a person before the entry into force of the Provisional Law had to be recalculated under procedure established in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law provided that the awarded pension exceeded the marginal amount of the state social insurance pension.

  1. In this ruling it has been mentioned that the provisions of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, inter alia Paragraph 1 of the same article, established the procedure for recalculation of old-age pensions, which implied the reduction of the old-age pensions awarded prior to the entry into force of this law.
  2. As regards the aspect disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that Item 146 of the Regulations established the implementation of inter alia the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, whereby preconditions were created to reduce old-age pensions in the course of recalculation thereof.
  3. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate inter alia the compliance of Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations insofar as it establishes the legal regulation whereby one implements the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  4. It has been held in this Constitutional Court ruling that the legal regulation entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, insofar as this legal regulation created preconditions to reduce old-age pensions in the course of recalculation thereof, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Having held this, one is to hold that Item 146 of the Regulations insofar as the legal regulation established therein implemented the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, which created preconditions to reduce old-age pensions in the course of recalculation thereof, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. While taking account of this, one is to draw a conclusion that Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions approved by Government resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994, insofar as it established the legal regulation whereby one implemented the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, was not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue one is disputing the compliance of Item 146 of the Regulations, insofar as it established the legal regulation whereby one implemented the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, with inter alia Article 48 of the Constitution.

In this context it needs to be noted that, as mentioned, Article 48 of the Constitution does not regulate the relations of pensionary maintenance. Thus, Item 146 of the Regulations regulates the relations of different character than those regulated in Article 48 of the Constitution.

  1. While taking account of this, one is to hold that Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions approved by Government Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994, insofar as it established the legal regulation whereby one implemented the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Provisional Law, was not in conflict with Article 48 of the Constitution.
  2. On 13 July 2011, the Government adopted Resolution No. 836 “On Amending Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 1156 ‘On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of State Social Security Pensions’ of 18 November 1994”, which came into force (save the established exceptions) on 17 July 2011.

By Item 1.2.9 of the said resolution inter alia Item 146 of the Regulations, which is being disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue, was amended, however, the legal regulation established in this item in the aspect disputed in the constitutional justice case at issue remained unchanged.

XIII

  1. This ruling of the Constitutional Court has recognised certain provisions of the Provisional Law, inter alia the provisions related with the recalculation (reduction) of state social insurance old-age pensions and state pensions, as well as certain provisions of the Law on State Pensions, as being in conflict with the Constitution.

Under Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution, a law (or part thereof) of the Republic of Lithuania or other act (or part thereof) of the Seimas, act of the President of the Republic, act (or part thereof) of the Government may not be applied from the day of official promulgation of the decision of the Constitutional Court that the act in question (or part thereof) is in conflict with the Constitution.

  1. In the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court it has been held that “under the Constitution, the Constitutional Court, having inter alia assessed what legal situation might appear after a Constitutional Court ruling becomes effective, may establish a date when this Constitutional Court ruling is to be officially published; the Constitutional Court may postpone the official publishing of its ruling if it is necessary to give the legislator certain time to remove the lacunae legis which would appear if the relevant Constitutional Court ruling was officially published immediately after it had been publicly announced in the hearing of the Constitutional Court and if they constituted preconditions to basically deny certain values defended and protected by the Constitution. The said postponement of official publishing of the Constitutional Court ruling (inter alia a ruling by which a certain law (or part thereof) is recognised as contradicting to the Constitution) is a presumption arising from the Constitution in order to avoid certain effects, unfavourable to the society and the state as well as the human rights and freedoms, which might appear if the relevant Constitutional Court ruling was officially published immediately after its official announcement in the hearing of the Constitutional Court and if it became effective on the same day after it had been officially published” (Constitutional Court rulings of 19 January 2005, 23 August 2005, 29 June 2010 and 9 June 2011). Thus, the Constitutional Court enjoys the constitutional powers to establish also a later date of the official publishing (thus, also of entry into force) of its ruling, whereby a certain legal act (part thereof) was recognised as being in conflict with legal acts of higher legal power, inter alia (and, first of all) the Constitution, where, in case the Constitutional Court ruling after its adoption was immediately officially published, the vacuum or other indeterminacies might appear in the legal regulation due to which certain values entrenched in and defended and protected by the Constitution could be violated in essence (Constitutional Court rulings of 24 December 2002, 19 January 2005, 23 August 2005, 29 June 2010 and 9 June 2011).
  2. It needs to be noted that, under Paragraph 1 (wording of 20 December 2011) of Article 15 of the Provisional Law, the validity of the provisions related to the recalculation of (reduction) of state social insurance pensions, which have been recognised in this ruling of the Constitutional Court as being in conflict with the Constitution, was established till 31 December 2011; meanwhile, the validity of the provisions of this law, which are related to the recalculation of state pensions, inter alia those which have been recognised in this ruling as being in conflict, to certain extent, with the Constitution, was established till 31 December 2012.
  3. Under the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court, after the official publishing of this Constitutional Court ruling, from the day of its official publishing, the provisions of the Provisional Law and the Law on State Pensions which have been recognised to be in conflict with the Constitution by this Constitutional Court ruling may not be applied.

Therefore, if the ruling of the Constitutional Court were officially published right after its public announcement at the Constitutional Court hearing, there would occur vagueness in the legal regulation on certain state pensions due to which the payment of state pensions could be disturbed in essence or even temporarily discontinued.

While taking account of the fact that in order to remove the said vagueness in the legal regulation some time is necessary, also of the fact that the fulfilment of state financial self-obligations for the persons to whom the awarded state pensions were recalculated (reduced) under the provisions of the Provisional Law and the Law on State Pensions is related to corresponding redistribution of financial resources of the state, this ruling of the Constitutional Court is to be officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 21 September 2012.

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 54, 55, 56 and 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has passed the following

ruling:

  1. To recognise that Item 5 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as this item did not establish that this law shall not apply to the persons receiving the state social insurance old-age pensions who have been recognised a special need of permanent nursing, was in conflict with Articles 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. To recognise that Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it establishes the recalculation of state pensions, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  3. To recognise that Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  4. To recognise that Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  5. To recognise that Paragraph 1 (wording of 11 February 2010; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No. 23-1070) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it established the payment of the reduced state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension had been awarded, had the income from which state social insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  6. To recognise that Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No. 132-6717) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it establishes the payment of the state pensions to their receivers who, after the pension is awarded, have the income from which state social insurance contributions are calculated and paid, is in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  7. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No. 132-6717) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it establishes the payment of the reduced state pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, is in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  8. To recognise that Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as this paragraph created preconditions to reduce old-age pensions in the course of recalculation thereof, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  9. To recognise that Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it provided for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  10. To recognise that Paragraph 2 of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it provided for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  11. To recognise that Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No. 132-6717) of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it provided for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  12. To recognise that Paragraph 2 (wording of 26 October 2010; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No. 132-6717) of Article 8 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as it provided for the payment of reduced old-age pensions to the persons specified in this paragraph, was in conflict with the provision “Each human being may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  13. To recognise that Paragraph 4 of Article 14 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as one does not establish, by means of a law, the essential elements of compensation for the reduced state social insurance old-age pensions, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  14. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 8 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 151-6778) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, insofar as it included the state pensions established in Items 1-4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, was in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  15. To recognise that Paragraph 3 (wording of 12 November 2010; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No. 139-7108) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Pensions, insofar as it includes the state pensions established in Items 1-4 of Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this law, is in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  16. To recognise that Paragraph 1 (wording of 8 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 151-6777) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Payment of a Part of State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions, insofar as it establishes that the calculated sum of the part of the old-age pension shall be paid to the person in 2008-2012, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  17. To recognise that Item 6.3 (wording of 23 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7166) of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 144 “On the Approval of the Inventory Schedule of the Procedure for Payment of a Part of Sums of the State Social Insurance Old-age and Disability Pensions” of 26 February 2008, insofar as it establishes that the payment of the calculated sum of a part of the old-age pension has been moved from the year 2010 to the year 2012, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  18. To recognise that Item 146 (wording of 23 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7169) of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions approved by Government of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution No. 1156 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Awarding and Payment of the State Social Security Pensions” of 18 November 1994, insofar as it established the legal regulation whereby one implemented the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.
  19. To dismiss the part of the case subsequent to the petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as this paragraph does not establish any compensation for the reduced state pensions of officials and servicemen, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29, 48 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it does not establish any compensation for the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania Provisional Law on Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as this paragraph does not establish any compensation of the reduced state pensions, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 29 and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

  1. To dismiss the part of the case subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Article 72 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 1993, No. 6-120) of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, insofar as it, according to the petitioner, does not establish the legal regulation that would enable to determine, whether a legal act recognised as being in conflict with the Constitution is no longer valid from its adoption or from the day of the adoption of the Constitutional Court ruling, also whether Paragraph 4 of this article, are not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 7 and Paragraph 1 of Article 107 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.
  2. This ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania must be officially published in the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” on 21 September 2012.

This ruling of the Constitutional Court is final and not subject to appeal.

The ruling is promulgated in the name of the Republic of Lithuania.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                         Egidijus Bieliūnas

                                                                                             Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                             Pranas Kuconis

                                                                                             Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                                             Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                             Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                                             Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                                             Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

                                                                                             Dainius Žalimas