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On prolonging the reduction of state pensions

Case No. 12/2013-21/2013-15/2014-1/2015

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAWS AMENDING ARTICLE 15 OF THE PROVISIONAL LAW ON THE RECALCULATION AND PAYMENT OF SOCIAL BENEFITS ADOPTED ON 20 DECEMBER 2011 AND 20 DECEMBER 2012 WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

14 May 2015, No. KT15-N9/2015

Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Elvyra Baltutytė, Vytautas Greičius, Danutė Jočienė, Pranas Kuconis, Gediminas Mesonis, Vytas Milius, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Dainius Žalimas

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 and 531 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, at the Court’s public hearing, on 29 April 2015, considered under written procedure constitutional justice case No. 12/2013-21/2013-15/2014-1/2015 subsequent to:

1) the petition (No. 1B-16/2013) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2012, insofar as it used to provide that the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2013 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, was not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality;

2) the petition (No. 1B-30/2013) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into:

whether the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2011, insofar as it used to provide that the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2012 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, was in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality;

whether the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2012, insofar as it used to provide that the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2013 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, was in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality;

3) the petition (No. 1B-25/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into the compliance of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2012, insofar as it used to provide that the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2013 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, was not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality;

4) the petition (No. 1B-77/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into:

whether the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2011, insofar as it used to provide that the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2012 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions and the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, was in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality;

whether the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2012, insofar as it used to provide that the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2013 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions and the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, was in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

By the Constitutional Court’s decision of 15 April 2015, the foregoing petitions were joined into one case, and it was given reference No. 12/2013-21/2013-15/2014-1/2015.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

The petitions of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, are substantiated by the following arguments.

Article 15 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits established the term of paying the reduced state pensions, where this term was prolonged respectively until 31 December 2012 and 31 December 2013 by means of the impugned laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, however, the term of paying certain reduced social insurance benefits, for example, state social insurance pensions, was not prolonged, i.e. the provision that the recalculated (reduced) state social insurance pensions must be paid until 31 December 2011 remained intact.

The constitutional imperatives of a state under the rule of law, justice, proportionality, the equality of rights, and social solidarity mean, inter alia, that the burden of an economic and financial crisis should be evenly and proportionately shared among the entire society. The impugned laws prolonged the term of the validity of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits for 2012–2013 not with respect to all benefits paid from the State Budget and the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, but only with respect to a certain part of such payments, therefore, doubts arise about the consistency and proportionality of the distribution of the burden of the economic and financial crisis among the entire society. The State Budget deficit and the deficit of the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund have not been increasing since 2012 for two years in a row, but decreasing, the growth in state debt has also become stabilised, the reduction of a certain part of social benefits was cancelled as from 2012, therefore, it is doubtful whether paying the reduced state pensions in 2012–2013 continued to serve as a necessary measure, i.e. whether the prolongation of paying the reduced state pensions was in line with the legitimate objectives important to society, and whether it more than necessary restricted the rights of persons receiving such pensions in order to reach these objectives.

The petitioner substantiates its doubts about the constitutionality of the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, by the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine that, if a law establishes a pension that is not directly specified in Article 52 of the Constitution, such a pension, under the Constitution, must be guaranteed to the specified persons on the grounds and in the amounts as established in the law; when it establishes such a pension, the legislature is bound by the Constitution. 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 legislature 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 paying 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; 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 as entrenched in the Constitution, i.e., in violation of the constitutional principle of proportionality.

II

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations were received from Seimas member Jonas Varkala, the representative of the Seimas, in which it is asserted that the impugned laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, had not been in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representative of the Seimas is substantiated by the following arguments.

One of the impugned laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was adopted on 20 December 2012 together with the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Approval of the Financial Indicators of the 2013 State Budget and Municipal Budgets. The preamble to the Law on the Approval of the Financial Indicators of the 2013 State Budget and Municipal Budgets, among other things, points out the following: “the predicted revenue of the national budget and the state social insurance fund in 2013 from taxes and social insurance contributions is still lower by 10.5 percent if compared with the revenue level in 2008”; “the complicated situation of the financial markets in Europe and on the global scale also creates special circumstances in Lithuania, however, in case of failure to take into consideration such circumstances in advance, the national economic and financial situation may deteriorate even more”; “in 2013, it is impossible at the same time to implement the provisions of the Law on Fiscal Discipline, to correct the excessive deficit in a sustainable manner, and to cancel the reduction of the state pensions and remuneration paid from the state and municipal budgets”; “in 2013, it is impossible at the same time to implement the provisions of the Law on Fiscal Discipline, to correct the excessive deficit in a sustainable manner, and to cancel the reduction of the state pensions and remuneration paid from the state and municipal budgets, therefore, there are no grounds for stating that it would be possible to predict that the funds necessary for paying non-reduced state pensions and non-reduced remuneration would be either received or accumulated, thus, due to this, the expenditure of the public sector in 2013 should be approved by taking into consideration the reduced sizes of state pensions and remuneration”. It was by means of the Law on the Approval of the Financial Indicators of the 2013 State Budget and Municipal Budgets that the national economic and financial situation was assessed anew, which made it necessary to adopt the Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits on 20 December 2012.

The impugned laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits prolonged the procedure for recalculating and paying awarded social benefits not only with respect to persons who receive the state pensions awarded and paid under the Law on State Pensions and the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, but also with respect to persons who receive annuities, targeted compensation for expenses for nursing and care (assistance), or unemployment social insurance benefits. In addition, in view of the national economic and financial situation and in an attempt to reduce state budget allocations for work remuneration, the legal acts were adopted by which the payment of the reduced work remuneration of judges, prosecutors, state politicians, and state servants was prolonged until 31 December 2013.

The fact that, as from 2012, the sizes of the reduced pensions were restored to their 2009 level with respect to the recipients of state social insurance pensions to whom benefits are paid not from the State Budget but from the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, could be substantiated by the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, according to which, in their nature, state pensions differ from state social insurance old-age pensions and from other pensions of state social insurance; state pensions should be regarded as an additional measure of social protection, they are awarded to persons for performed service or merits for the State of Lithuania, or as compensation for the persons specified in the law; the receiving of these pensions is linked not with social insurance pension contributions of an established size, but with the respective status of a certain person (service, merits, or other circumstances upon which the awarding of the state pension depends). In addition, these pensions are paid from the State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania and are most often additional benefits paid together with state social insurance pensions.

The Constitutional Court has held that, under the Constitution, Lithuania is a socially oriented state; the social orientation of the state implies that, upon the occurrence of an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state, and, consequently, upon the emergence of a necessity to reduce pensions or other social benefits temporarily, the state, after carrying out the assessment of the resources of the state and society, material and financial possibilities, and other significant circumstances, also has the discretion to establish the exceptions applicable to certain other groups of socially most sensitive persons who need a special social assistance, i.e. the discretion to establish that pensions and other social benefits for these groups of persons are not reduced or are reduced to a lesser extent, so that those persons could be ensured the conditions of living in line with human dignity (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 6 February 2012). Thus, the legal regulation established in the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits does not violate the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law that integrates various values entrenched in as well as protected and defended by the Constitution—the entire legal system of Lithuania and the Constitution itself are based on the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, were in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

It is clear from the petitions of the petitioner that it requests an investigation into the constitutionality of these laws insofar as they prolonged, for 2012 and 2013, the payment of the reduced state pensions of officials and servicemen and the state pensions of scientists as established in the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits. In substantiating its doubts about the constitutionality of the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, the petitioner asserts that the fact that the impugned legal regulation had prolonged the term of paying the reduced benefits with respect not to all the social benefits paid either from the State Budget or from the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, but only with respect to a certain part thereof—inter alia, the state pensions of officials and servicemen and the state pensions of scientists that are paid from the State Budget was in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

2. In the course of construing the laws impugned by the petitioner, account should be taken of the overall legal regulation established in the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits.

2.1. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, this law established the procedure for recalculating the social benefits—the state pensions and other benefits specified in Items 1–4 of Paragraph 2 of this article—as well as state social insurance pensions, and for paying such benefits to persons who have insured income, the procedure for recalculating the social insurance allowances of maternity, paternity, maternity (paternity), and unemployment and the social benefits of maternity (paternity), and for establishing a new maximum size for calculating the compensatory earnings meant for calculating social insurance allowances, as well as the conditions of paying the children’s benefits and sizes thereof.

Items 1–4 of Paragraph 2 of this article prescribes that this law is applied to persons who receive the following social benefits: the state pensions awarded and paid according to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Judges, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists (Item 1); compensatory benefits awarded and paid according to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Theatres and Concert Managers’ Establishments (Item 2); annuities awarded and paid according to the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Status of the Signatories of the Lithuanian Act of Independence and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Physical Culture and Sport (Item 3); assistance compensation for persons of working age and targeted compensation for expenses for nursing and care (assistance) awarded and paid according to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Assistance Benefits (Item 4).

2.2. It is clear from the provisions of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits entrenched, inter alia, in its preamble, Paragraph 1 of Article 1, as well as in the travaux préparatoires of this law, that the Seimas established in the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits such a procedure for recalculating and paying social benefits, inter alia, state pensions, which implied the reduction thereof.

2.3. Article 15 (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits used to provide that this law, save Article 16 thereof, shall come into force on 1 January 2010 and shall be in force until 31 December 2011. Thus, the reduced social benefits, inter alia, state pensions, were to be paid temporarily for two years—from 1 January 2010 until 31 December 2011.

2.3.1. On 2 July 2010, the Seimas adopted the Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits that amended Article 15 of the Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits and set it forth as follows:

Article 15. The Validity and Application of the Law

1. This Law, save Article 16 thereof, shall come into force on 1 January 2010 and stay in force until 31 December 2011.

2. As from 1 July 2011, the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of this Law shall no longer apply to the newly awarded social insurance allowances and the maternity (paternity) benefits payable from the State Budget.

3. The social insurance allowances and the maternity (paternity) benefits payable from the State Budget as calculated under the provisions of the said law prior to 1 July 2011 shall be paid until the end of the period of their payment.”

2.3.2. On 20 December 2011, the Seimas adopted the impugned Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits which amended Article 15 (wording of 2 July 2010) of the Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits and set it forth as follows:

1. This Law, save Article 16 thereof, shall come into force on 1 January 2010 and stay in force:

1) with respect to the assistance compensation specified in Item 4 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of this Law and the benefits specified in Items 5–9 of the same Paragraph—until 31 December 2011;

2) with respect to the benefits specified in Items 1, 2, and 3 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of this Law, the targeted compensation for expenses for nursing and care (assistance) specified in Item 4 of the same Paragraph, and the benefit specified in Item 10 of the same Paragraph—until 31 December 2012.

2. As from 1 July 2011, the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of this Law shall no longer apply to the newly awarded social insurance allowances and the maternity (paternity) benefits payable from the State Budget.

3. The social insurance allowances and the maternity (paternity) benefits payable from the State Budget as calculated under the provisions of the said law prior to 1 July 2011 shall be paid until the end of the period of their payment.”

The following social benefits were specified in Items 1, 2, and 3 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits: the state pensions awarded and paid according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, or the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists; compensatory benefits awarded and paid according to the Law on Theatres and Concert Managers’ Establishments; the annuities awarded and paid according to the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic, the Law on the Status of the Signatories of the Lithuanian Act of Independence, or the Law on the Physical Culture and Sport.

Thus, the impugned Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2011, prolonged, until 31 December 2012, the term of paying the reduced, inter alia, state pensions awarded and paid according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, or the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists.

2.3.3. On 20 December 2012, the Seimas adopted the impugned Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits which amended Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2011) of the Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits and set it forth as follows:

2) with respect to the benefits specified in Items 1 and 3 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of this Law, the targeted compensation for expenses for nursing and care (assistance) specified in Item 4 of the same Paragraph, and the benefit specified in Item 10 of the same Paragraph—until 31 December 2013.”

The following social benefits were specified in Items 1 and 3 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits: the state pensions awarded and paid according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, or the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists; the annuities awarded and paid according to the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic, the Law on the Status of the Signatories of the Lithuanian Act of Independence, or the Law on the Physical Culture and Sport; the social insurance unemployment benefit that is specified in Item 10 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits is awarded and paid according to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Unemployment Social Insurance.

Thus, this impugned Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2012, additionally prolonged for a year—until 31 December 2013, the term of paying the reduced, inter alia, state pensions awarded and paid according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, or the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists.

2.3.4. To sum up the impugned legal regulation in the aspect impugned by the petitioner, it should be noted that the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, prolonged, for 2012 and 2013, the term of paying the reduced, inter alia, state pensions awarded and paid according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, or the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists.

2.3.5. It should be noted that Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2012) of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was amended and supplemented by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending and Supplementing the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 12 December 2013, however, the legal regulation impugned by the petitioner has not been amended, i.e. Item 2 of Paragraph 2 of Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits continued to contain the provision which prescribed that the term of the reduced, inter alia, state pensions awarded and paid according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, or the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, had to be in force until 31 December 2013.

2.4. It has been mentioned that, in substantiating its doubts about the constitutionality of the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, the petitioner asserts that the fact that the impugned legal regulation had prolonged the term of paying the reduced benefits with respect not to all the social benefits paid either from the State Budget or from the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, but only with respect to a certain part thereof—inter alia, the state pensions of officials and servicemen and the state pensions of scientists that are paid from the State Budget was in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

In this context, it should be noted that, under Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 15 (wording of 12 December 2013) of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, this law (save Article 16 thereof) was in force until 31 December 2011 with respect to the assistance compensation for persons of working age specified in Item 4 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the law and the benefits specified in Items 5–9 of the same paragraph (with respect to state social insurance old-age pensions (with the exception of the said pensions received by persons rated as having high-level special needs), early old-age pensions and pensions of lost capacity for work for persons who lost 45–70 percent of their capacity for work (pensions of disability groups II and III), as well as the retirement pensions exceeding the margin size of state social insurance pensions, the state social insurance pensions of orphans (of the loss of a breadwinner) which exceed half the margin size of a state social insurance pension, except the pensions specified in Paragraph 3 of this article, and with respect to state social insurance of pensions of widow(er)s (of the loss of a breadwinner), compensation for special working conditions, social insurance allowances of sickness, professional rehabilitation, maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity), social insurance allowances of sickness, maternity (paternity) benefits, as well as children’s benefits). Under Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 15 (wording of 12 December 2013) of the said law, the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits (save Article 16 thereof), was valid until 31 December 2013 with respect to the state pensions specified in Item 1 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 thereof, the annuities specified in Item 3 of the same paragraph, and the targeted compensation for expenses for nursing and care (assistance) specified in Item 4 of the same paragraph, whereas, under Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 15 (wording of 12 December 2013) the said law, the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits (save Article 16 thereof), was valid until 31 December 2014 with respect to the unemployment social insurance benefit specified in Item 10 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 thereof.

Thus, the reduction of social benefits established by the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was valid for a different period of time:

the reduction was valid until 31 December 2011 with respect to assistance compensation for persons of working age and state social insurance old-age pensions (with the exception of the said pensions received by persons rated as having high-level special needs), early old-age pensions and pensions of lost capacity for work for persons who lost 45–70 percent of their capacity for work (pensions of disability groups II and III), as well as the retirement pensions exceeding the margin size of state social insurance pensions, state social insurance pensions of orphans (of the loss of a breadwinner) which exceed half the margin size of a state social insurance pension, except the pensions specified in Paragraph 3 of this article, state social insurance of pensions of widow(er)s (of the loss of a breadwinner), compensation for special working conditions, social insurance allowances of sickness, professional rehabilitation, maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity), social insurance allowances of sickness, maternity (paternity) benefits, as well as children’s benefits (Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 15 (wording of 12 December 2013) of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits);

the reduction of the state pensions, annuities, and targeted compensation for expenses for nursing and care (assistance) was valid until 31 December 2013 (Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 15 (wording of 12 December 2013) of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits);

the reduction of social insurance unemployment benefits was valid until 31 December 2014 (Item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 15 (wording of 12 December 2013) of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits).

3. In this context, it should be noted that, in its ruling of 22 October 2007, the Constitutional Court noted that the pensions not directly named in the Constitution which are called state pensions are established in the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions (state pensions of the Republic of Lithuania of the first and second degree, state pensions of victims, state pensions of officials and servicemen, state pensions of scientists, state pensions of judges). In its ruling of 22 October 2007, the Constitutional Court also noted that in some cases state pensions, which are not directly named in the Constitution, are awarded for a certain service, in other cases—for merits to the State of Lithuania or as compensation to victims.

It should also be mentioned that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 2 (wording of 18 December 2007) of the Law on the State Pensions, all the state pensions are paid from the State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. To sum up the legal regulation impugned by the petitioner, it should be noted that the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, prolonged, until 31 December 2012 and 31 December 2013 respectively, the term of paying the reduced, inter alia, state pensions awarded and paid from the State Budget according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, or the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists; however, the impugned laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, did not prolong the term of paying certain reduced social benefits, inter alia, state social insurance pensions.

II

1. It has been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, were in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

2. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion 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 of the Republic of Lithuania itself are based, that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law should be construed inseparably from the striving for an open, just, and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law, and that the content of the said constitutional principle may be disclosed in various provisions of the Constitution; the essence of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is the rule of law.

2.1. As it has been held by the Constitutional Court on more than one occasion, the constitutional 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 by law must be in line with legitimate objectives important to society, that these measures must be necessary in order to reach the said objectives, and that these measures must not restrict the rights or freedoms of a person clearly more than necessary in order to reach the said objectives.

2.2. The content of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law should 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 (in conjunction with the responsibility of everyone for their own fate), the equality of persons before the law, courts, state establishments and officials, and other constitutional principles of no less importance (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 13 December 2004 and its decision of 20 April 2010).

The Constitutional Court has held that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law is inseparable from the principle of justice, and vice versa. Justice is one of the basic objectives of law as a means of regulating 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 when a certain balance of interests is ensured, and when fortuity and arbitrariness, as well as instability of social life and clash of interests, are avoided (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 3 December 2003, 24 December 2008, and 1 July 2013).

2.3. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the constitutional principle of the equality of persons should be followed both in the passage and application of laws; the constitutional principle of the equality of persons before the law means the innate right of a human being to be treated equally with others, it includes the obligation to legally assess homogenous facts in the same manner and prohibits any arbitrary assessment of essentially the same facts in a different manner. The constitutional principle of the equality of the rights of persons does not in itself deny the opportunity to establish, by means of a law, a diverse and differentiated legal regulation with respect to certain persons that belong to different categories if there are differences between the said persons of such a character that can objectively justify that differentiated regulation (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010, its rulings of 22 December 2011, 5 July 2013, and 3 July 2014).

The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that the principle of the equality of all persons before the law would be violated if a certain group of persons addressed by a particular legal norm, compared to other addressees under the same norm, were treated differently, although there would be no differences of such a character or scope among these groups that could objectively justify this uneven treatment. While assessing whether an established different legal regulation is grounded, one must take into account concrete legal circumstances; first of all, consideration must be given to differences in the legal situation of the subjects and objects to which a certain differentiated legal regulation is applied (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 June 2010, 6 February 2012, 22 February 2013, and 6 February 2015).

3. Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Constitution prescribes that the Constitution is an integral act. All provisions of the Constitution are interrelated and constitute a single and harmonious system, there is a balance among the values consolidated in the Constitution, and it is not permitted to construe any provision of the Constitution so that the content of another provision of the Constitution is distorted or denied, since, thus, the essence of the entire constitutional legal regulation would be distorted and the balance of constitutional values would be disturbed (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 16 January 2006, 24 September 2009, and 6 May 2015).

4. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, in order to construe the constitutional principles of a state under the rule, justice, and proportionality, account should also be taken of Article 52 of the Constitution that prescribes: “The State shall guarantee its citizens the right to receive old-age and disability pensions as well as social assistance in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, loss of the breadwinner, and in other cases provided for by law.”

4.1. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that Article 52 of the Constitution lays down the bases for pensionary maintenance and social assistance. Under the Constitution, the grounds for pensionary maintenance, the persons who are awarded and paid pensions, the conditions of awarding and paying pensions, as well as the sizes of the pensions are established by law only; the legislature, while adopting laws concerning pensionary maintenance, is bound by the norms and principles of the Constitution (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008, 2 September 2009, and 29 June 2010).

The old-age and disability pensions are the types of pensions expressis verbis pointed out in Article 52 of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, pensions other than those expressis verbis specified in Article 52 of the Constitution may also be established by law; certain pensions that are not directly indicated in Article 52 of the Constitution are currently established, inter alia, in the Law on State Pensions (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 29 June 2010 and its decision of 14 January 2015).

4.2. The state pension of officials and servicemen that is established by law is one of the types of pensions which are not directly named in Article 52 of the Constitution; the purpose of the state pension of officials and servicemen is, inter alia, to compensate for a difficult, responsible, often risky and dangerous service by a person to the State of Lithuania (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008 and 22 February 2013); after such a state pension has been established by law, the awarding and receiving thereof must be related to the person’s service to the State of Lithuania (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 February 2013).

It should be noted that the state pension of scientists that is consolidated by law is also one of the types of pensions which are not directly specified in Article 52 of the Constitution. The purpose of this pension is, inter alia, compensation for the scientific work whose duration is established by law, which is significant to both the civil society and the State of Lithuania, and which requires special qualification.

4.3. The following provisions of the official constitutional doctrine related to state pensions as formulated by the Constitutional Court should be mentioned:

state pensions differ in their nature and character from state social insurance old-age pensions, as well as from other state social insurance pensions: they are paid from the State Budget; they are awarded to persons for the service rendered, or to persons with merits to the State of Lithuania, or they are awarded as compensation to victims as specified by law (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 3 December 2003, 24 December 2008, 29 June 2010, its decision of 14 January 2015, and its ruling of 6 May 2015); the receiving of these pensions is linked not with social insurance pension contributions of an established size, but with a particular status of the person (service, merits, or other circumstances upon which the receiving of the state pension depends) (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 February 2013, 3 July 2014, and 6 May 2015);

the peculiarities of state pensions permit the legislature, by taking account of all the significant circumstances and paying heed to the norms and principles of the Constitution, to establish the relevant conditions for awarding these pensions (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008, its decision of 20 April 2010, as well as its rulings of 29 June 2010 and 6 February 2012); the discretion of the legislature in establishing the awarding of state pensions is broader than in regulating other pensions; the conditions of awarding state pensions may be very different and may depend on, inter alia, the peculiarities of service and the economic capacities of the state (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008, 6 February 2012, and 6 May 2015).

5. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, a mention should be made of the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine disclosing the requirements derived from the Constitution for the legal regulation by which the size of social benefits is reduced upon the occurrence of a very difficult economic and financial situation in the state:

such an extreme situation (economic crisis, etc.) might occur in the state when there is objective lack of funds for the payment of pensions; in such extraordinary cases, the legal regulation of pensionary relations may also be corrected by reducing awarded and paid pensions to the extent necessary to ensure vitally important interests of society and to protect other constitutional values (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 13 December 2004, 24 December 2008, its decision of 20 April 2010, and its ruling of 6 February 2012);

temporary reduction of pensions of persons is only allowed in such an extremely difficult economic and financial situation where the collection of the state budget revenue is disordered to the extent that due to this the state is unable to perform the obligations undertaken by it; such reduction of pensions must be substantiated by the circumstances testifying about the existence of an especially grave economic and financial situation in the state; thus, only when there is an official statement that there is a particularly grave economic and financial situation in the state, which is not short-termed, due to which the state is unable to perform the obligations undertaken by it, the legislature may temporarily reduce the pensions (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010);

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 legislature 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 paying pensions; the state institutions forming and pursuing state economic and finance policies may not first resort to the measures (inter alia, reduce pensions and other social guarantees) for overcoming the economic and financial crisis in the course of the implementation of which the burden of overcoming the crisis is put upon persons; the measures for overcoming the grave economic and financial situation in the state must be implemented in a complex manner, they must be co-ordinated, inter alia, in a way so that the balance between the interests of the person and society as entrenched in the Constitution would not be disturbed; 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; 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 as entrenched in the Constitution, i.e., they may not be reduced in violation of the constitutional principle of proportionality (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010 and its ruling of 6 February 2012);

the reduced pensions may only be paid on a temporary basis, i.e. until there is an extraordinary situation (inter alia, an economic crisis) in the state, however, this doctrinal provision may not be interpreted as meaning that, purportedly, the state, after the legislature has reduced the awarded and paid pensions, is exempted from the duty to look for ways for the accumulation of the funds necessary for the payment of the pensions; quite to the contrary, if, before the end of the economic crisis, there arises an opportunity to accumulate (receive) the funds necessary to pay the pensions in the amounts that were before the reduction of the pensions, the legal regulation under which the pensions have been reduced must be repealed (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010);

the constitutional principle of proportionality also means, inter alia, 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 legislature 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 sizes of the pensions established with regard to the same category of pensioners prior to the occurrence of the particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010 and its ruling of 6 February 2012);

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 when there is a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state and due to this there is a necessity to temporarily reduce the pensions in order to secure vitally important interests of society and the state and to protect other constitutional values, the legislature may correct the legal regulation of such pensions of different nature by reducing these pensions to 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 Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010 and its ruling of 6 February 2012).

6. In its rulings of 31 May 2006 and 21 December 2006, as well as in its decision of 13 November 2007, the Constitutional Court held that, under the Constitution, the Seimas, as the legislative state institution, and the Government, as a state institution of the executive, have a very broad discretion to form and pursue the state economic policy (each according to its competence) and to respectively regulate the economic activities by means of legal acts, certainly, without violating the Constitution and laws, inter alia, without exceeding the powers of these state institutions established therein, by heeding the requirements of the due process of law stemming from the Constitution, the principles of a state under the rule of law, the separation of powers, responsible governance, the protection of legitimate expectations, legal clarity, legal certainty, and legal security consolidated in the Constitution.

7. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, under the Constitution, inter alia, Article 52 thereof, and, according to the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality:

upon the occurrence of an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state, if the state pensions (as regards their nature and character, they are different from old-age and disability pensions) are reduced to greater extent than old-age and disability pensions, inter alia, a longer term of paying the reduced state pensions may be established;

the constitutional duty of the state to accumulate the funds necessary to pay the pensions and to repeal the legal regulation by which such pensions were reduced in case an opportunity arises to accumulate (receive) the funds necessary for paying the pensions in the sizes before the reduction thereof may not be understood as a duty to decide on repealing the legal regulation by which the pensions were reduced only when an opportunity arises to accumulate (receive) all the funds necessary for restoring the sizes of all pensions that had existed before the reduction; if an opportunity arises to accumulate (receive) a certain part of such funds, the legislature, by taking account of the economic and financial situation existing in the state and of the capabilities of the state, as well as of various obligations undertaken by the state, when taking a decision on repealing the legal regulation reducing the pensions, may decide to restore, not necessarily at the same time and not necessarily to the full extent, the previous sizes of pensions that are of different nature and different character; if it makes such a decision, the legislature is bound by the Constitution, inter alia, by the requirements arising from the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality, including the requirement that, in the course of establishing a different legal regulation, account should be taken of concrete legal circumstances and an assessment must first be made of the differences of the legal situation of persons and objects to which such different legal regulation is applied.

III

On the compliance of the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality

1. It has been mentioned that the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, were in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality. It has also been mentioned that, in substantiating its doubts about the constitutionality of the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, the petitioner asserts that the fact that the impugned legal regulation had prolonged the term of paying the reduced benefits with respect not to all the social benefits paid either from the State Budget or from the Budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, but only with respect to a certain part thereof—inter alia, the state pensions of officials and servicemen and the state pensions of scientists, which are paid from the State Budget, was in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

2. While summing up the legal regulation impugned by the petitioner, it has also been mentioned that the laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, prolonged, until 31 December 2012 and 31 December 2013 respectively, the term of paying the reduced, inter alia, state pensions awarded and paid from the State Budget according to the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the State Pensions of Judges, and the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists; however, the impugned laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, did not prolong the term of paying certain reduced social benefits, inter alia, state social insurance pensions.

3. It has also been mentioned that, under the Constitution, inter alia, Article 52 thereof, and according to the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality:

upon the occurrence of an especially difficult economic and financial situation in the state, if the state pensions (as regards their nature and character, they are different from old-age and disability pensions) are reduced to greater extent than old-age and disability pensions, inter alia, a longer term of paying the reduced state pensions may be established;

the constitutional duty of the state to accumulate the funds necessary to pay the pensions and to repeal the legal regulation by which such pensions were reduced in case an opportunity arises to accumulate (receive) the funds necessary for paying the pensions in the sizes before the reduction thereof may not be understood as a duty to decide on repealing the legal regulation by which the pensions were reduced only when an opportunity arises to accumulate (receive) all the funds necessary for restoring the sizes of all pensions that had existed before the reduction; if an opportunity arises to accumulate (receive) a certain part of such funds, the legislature, by taking account of the economic and financial situation existing in the state and of the capabilities of the state, as well as of various obligations undertaken by the state, when taking a decision on repealing the legal regulation reducing the pensions, may decide to restore, not necessarily at the same time and not necessarily to the full extent, the previous sizes of pensions that are of different nature and different character; if it makes such a decision, the legislature is bound by the Constitution, inter alia, by the requirements arising from the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality, including the requirement that, in the course of establishing a different legal regulation, account should be taken of concrete legal circumstances and an assessment must first be made of the differences of the legal situation of persons and objects to which such different legal regulation is applied.

4. Thus, such impugned legal regulation establishing a longer term of paying the reduced state pensions awarded and paid from the State Budget under the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen and the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists in comparison with the term of paying some other reduced social benefits, inter alia, state social insurance pensions, should be assessed as reduction of state pensions to a larger extent in view of the nature and character of such pensions that are different from those of other social benefits (inter alia, old-age and disability pensions), i.e., it should be regarded as an objectively justified different treatment of pensioners of different categories (recipients of state pensions and those of state social insurance pensions), which in itself does not violate the proportions of the sizes of the pensions for the pensioners of the same category.

Consequently, there are no grounds for stating that the impugned laws amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, respectively adopted on 20 December 2011 and 20 December 2012, violated the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

5. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2011, insofar as it used to provide that the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2012 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, and the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, as well as the Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted 20 December 2012, insofar as it used to provide that the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2013 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Law on State Pensions, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, and the Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, was not in conflict with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights of persons, justice, and proportionality.

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 531, 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 gives the following

ruling:

1. To recognise that the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits (wording of 20 December 2011; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2011, No. 160-7573), insofar as it used to provide that the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2012 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits (wording of 20 December 2012; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2012, No. 155-7985), insofar as it used to provide that the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was in force until 31 December 2013 with respect to the state pensions awarded and paid under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions, the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the State Pensions of Scientists, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

Justices of the Constitutional Court:            Elvyra Baltutytė

                                                                                 Vytautas Greičius

                                                                                 Danutė Jočienė

                                                                                 Pranas Kuconis

                                                                                 Vytas Milius

                                                                                 Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                                 Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                                 Dainius Žalimas