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On the inclusion of the period of studies into the length of service for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen

Case No. 2/2013

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF ITEM 6 OF PARAGRAPH 3 (WORDINGS OF 18 JANUARY 2007 AND 2 OCTOBER 2012) OF ARTICLE 16 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON THE STATE PENSIONS OF OFFICIALS AND SERVICEMEN WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

6 May 2015, No. KT14-N8/2015

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 Articles 1 and 531 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, at the Court’s hearing, on 15 April 2015, considered, under written procedure, constitutional justice case No. 2/2013 subsequent to petition No. 1B-3/2013 of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 and Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, as well as Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, the Special Investigation Service, State Security, National Defence, the Prosecution Service, the Department of Prisons and the Establishments and State Enterprises Subordinate to the Latter (wording of 19 May 2005), insofar as they provide for a different inclusion of the period of studying at the higher, special secondary, and further education police (internal affairs) and military schools of the Republic of Lithuania in the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension to the officials of the interior, national defence, the prosecution system, the Special Investigation Service, the Department of Prisons and the establishments and state enterprises subordinate to the latter, as well as to customs officials and the officials of the system of the State Security Department, are 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.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, was considering the administrative case subsequent to an application filed by a statutory official of the system of the interior who did not agree with the calculation of the period of his service for the purpose of granting a pension. In the opinion of the applicant in the aforementioned administrative case, the period of his service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension groundlessly did not include the period of studying at the Lithuanian Police Academy from 1 January 1995 until 26 June 1997; the applicant maintained that, when entering the Lithuanian Police Academy, he had had the expectation that the period of studies at the academy would be included in the period of his service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, since the legal acts in force at the time of entering the academy has so prescribed.

Having held that there was a sufficient ground for doubting the constitutionality of the provisions regulating the inclusion of the period of studying at certain schools in the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen, insofar as they differently regulate the inclusion of the period of studying at certain schools in the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension to the officials of the interior, national defence, the prosecution system, the Special Investigation Service, the Department of Prisons and the establishments and state enterprises subordinate to the latter, as well as to customs officials and the officials of the system of the State Security Department, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court suspended the consideration of the administrative case and applied to the Constitutional Court for an investigation into the compliance of the indicated legal regulation with the Constitution.

2. The petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, is mainly substantiated by the following arguments.

The legal regulation in question differently regulates the way that the period of studying, before 1 January 1995, at the vocational training establishments of the interior and the higher, special secondary, and further education police (internal affairs) and military schools of the Republic of Lithuania is included in the period of service of the officials of the system of the interior and the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a state pension. Therefore, the petitioner has had doubts as to whether the establishment of a different regulation governing the inclusion of the period of studying in the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension does not lead to an essentially different treatment of persons in an identical legal situation, as well as whether, inter alia, the legal situation of the officials of the system of the interior and the officials of the system of the State Security Department objectively differs to the extent that such a different legal regulation may be established.

According to the petitioner, such a legal regulation under which the period of studying of the same nature is included in the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension for one group of statutory officials only where the period of studying took place before 1 January 1995, whereas for another group of statutory officials—irrespective of the period when studying took place, can contradict the constitutional principles of the equality of persons before the law and a state under the rule of law.

II

In the course of preparing the case for the Constitutional Court’s hearing, written explanations were received from Seimas Member Mečislovas Zasčiurinskis, acting as the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, where it is maintained that the impugned legal regulation was (is) not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representative of the Seimas is mainly substantiated by the following arguments.

The legal regulation laid down in the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, the Special Investigation Service, State Security, National Defence, the Prosecution Service, the Department of Prisons and the Establishments and State Enterprises Subordinate to the Latter (hereinafter also referred to as the Law on Pensions) draws a clear boundary between the period of service performed by officials and servicemen before 1 January 1995 (Article 16) and after 1 January 1995 (Article 6) in order to calculate their period of service for the purpose of granting a pension. In the course of amending the legal regulation in question, the relevant provisions, under which, for the officials of the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher, special secondary, and further education police (internal affairs), security, and military schools of the Republic of Lithuania is considered equivalent to the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension only where such a period of studying took place before 1 January 1995, have remained unchanged. In addition, under Item 7 of the Regulations on Granting and Paying State Pensions to the Officials and Servicemen of the Systems of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service (subsequently, inter alia, titled as the Regulations on Granting and Paying the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen), approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (No. 83) “On the Approval of the Regulations on Granting and Paying State Pensions to the Officials and Servicemen of the Systems of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, as well as on the Establishment of the Period of Service Required to Receive an Additional Percentage for the Years of Service” of 20 January 1995, certain periods of studying after 1 January 1995 are included in the period of service of officials and servicemen for the purpose of granting a pension.

Whereas the legal regulation consolidated in Item 8 of Article 28 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Security Department, under which the period of service of the officials of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension also includes the period of studying at certain schools after 1 January 1995, should be linked with the specificity of service performed by the officials of the system of the State Security Department. According to the representative of the party concerned, these officials are subject not only to special conditions of admission to service and the performance of service, as well as limitations and prohibitions applicable to their activity, but they are also subject to restrictions on their private lives. Thus, under the impugned legal regulation, the inclusion of certain periods of studying in the period of service of officials and servicemen for the purpose of granting a pension is regulated in a different way in view of the specificity of service and special requirements applicable to officials. In addition, according to the legal regulation currently in force, upon the entry into force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending the Law on Intelligence (on 1 January 2013), the periods of studying are not included in the period of service of the officials of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension.

The representative of the party concerned points out that the applicant in the administrative case under consideration by the petitioner became an official of the system of the interior only on 1 July 1997; thus, on 1 January 1995, upon the entry into force of the Law on Pensions, he did not and could not know he would become an official of the said system; therefore, his legitimate expectations could not be violated by the impugned provisions.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation, to the specified extent, into the compliance of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 and Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, as well as Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), with Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 “The Entry into Force of the Law” of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen provided and continues to provide for certain periods before 1 January 1995 that, for persons recruited to serve as officials and servicemen, among other things, in the systems of the interior, state security, national defence, and the Prosecution Service, the Special Investigation Service, the Department of Prisons and the establishments and state enterprises subordinate to the latter, are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; one of these periods is the period of studying at the higher, special secondary, and further education police (internal affairs), security, and military schools of the Republic of Lithuania (Item 6).

2.1. As it is clear from the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, and from the concurrently submitted material of the administrative case under its consideration, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, in the administrative case in question, was considering an application filed by an official of the system of the interior (formerly, an official in various police establishments) who did not agree with the calculation of the period of his service for the purpose of granting a pension; the applicant in the administrative case, in substance, contested the fact that the period of his service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension did not include the period of studying at the Lithuanian Police Academy after 1 January 1995.

2.2. In this context, it should be noted that the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen provided and continues to provide for the state pensions of officials and servicemen for service and for lost capacity for work, as well as the state pensions of widow(er)s and orphans (Article 4 of the law).

However, in view of the petition and the material of the administrative case under consideration by the petitioner, the legal regulation governing the state pensions of officials and servicemen is relevant to the constitutional justice case at issue only from the aspect of the state pensions granted to officials and servicemen for service.

2.3. In this context, it should also be noted that, by the Resolution (No. I-1311) “On the Statute of the Lithuanian Police Academy” of 14 May 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania approved the Statute of the Lithuanian Police Academy, where, among other things, it was prescribed that:

the Lithuanian Police Academy was a state higher establishment of education and science of the Republic of Lithuania (Item 1.1);

the principal tasks of the Lithuanian Police Academy were, inter alia, to prepare qualified specialists for work in the police and other establishments of the interior of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as to raise the qualifications of the employees working in the police and other establishments of the interior (Subitems 1 and 2 of Item 1.5);

students who completed the first cycle of higher education were awarded the qualification of a policeman; students who completed the second and third cycles could qualify for, respectively, the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law (Item 4.4);

students who failed to move to a higher cycle of studies were redirected to work in the establishments of the interior (Item 4.5).

Thus, the Lithuanian Police Academy was a state higher establishment of education and science of the Republic of Lithuania, whose one of the principal tasks was to prepare specialists for work in the police and other establishments of the interior of the Republic of Lithuania. In the context of the petition, the Lithuanian Police Academy should be regarded as a higher police (internal affairs) school of the Republic of Lithuania.

2.4. Consequently, in impugning, to the specified extent, the legal regulation laid down in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, under which, for the persons specified in the law, the indicated period of studying at the higher, special secondary, and further education police (internal affairs), security, and military schools of the Republic of Lithuania is considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, the petitioner, in principle, doubts as to whether this legal regulation is in line with the Constitution only from the aspect that, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 is not considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

3. The legal regulation consolidated in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) and Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen regulated and continues to regulate the inclusion of the time of service (length of service) in the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension.

Thus, the impugned legal norms consolidated and continue to consolidate a special legal regulation specifically concerned with the inclusion of the time of service (length of service) of the officials of the system of the State Security Department in the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; this legal regulation is not concerned with the issue, relevant in the context of the petition, whether certain periods are considered equivalent, for the purpose of granting a pension, to the period of service of persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior.

4. The petitioner requests an investigation into the constitutionality of the legal regulation laid down in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 and Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of the same article of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, as well as in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), insofar as, according to the petitioner, this legal regulation differently regulates the way that the period of studying at the vocational training establishments of the interior and the higher, special secondary, and further education police (internal affairs) and military schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995 is included in the period of service of the officials of the system of the interior and the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a state pension.

4.1. In this context, it should be noted that the petitioner requests an investigation into the constitutionality of the indicated legal regulation concerning the way that the period of service of persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior is calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, as well as into the constitutionality of the legal regulation concerning the way that the time of service (length of service) of the officials of the system of the State Security Department is included in the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; in substantiating its doubts with regard to the constitutionality of the legal regulation concerning the way that the period of service of persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior is calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, the petitioner also provides arguments in connection with the special legal regulation concerning the way that the time of service (length of service) of the officials of the system of the State Security Department is included in the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; however, the arguments set forth in the petition and the whole material of the administrative case under consideration by the petitioner make it clear that the petitioner, specifically, impugns the constitutionality of the legal regulation concerning the way that the period of service is calculated for the purpose of granting a pension to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior; specifically, the petitioner does not agree with the fact that, as maintained by the petitioner, differently from the officials of the system of the State Security Department, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior includes only the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995, whereas the corresponding period after 1 January 1995 is excluded.

4.2. Thus, from the entirety of the arguments set forth in the petition and the material of the administrative case under consideration by the petitioner, it is clear that, subsequent to this petition, an investigation should be carried out not into the constitutionality of the indicated legal regulation governing the inclusion of the time of service (length of service) of the officials of the system of the State Security Department in the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a state pension, but rather into the constitutionality of the corresponding legal regulation, consolidated in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, concerning the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior; as mentioned before, the constitutionality of the legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a state pension to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior should be investigated insofar as, under this legal regulation, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 is not considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

5. It should also be noted that, although the petitioner requests an investigation, to the specified extent, into the compliance of the indicated legal regulation, inter alia, with Article 29 of the Constitution, the arguments in the petition make it clear that the petitioner has actually had doubts regarding the compliance of the impugned legal regulation with the principle of the equality of the rights of persons as consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution.

6. Consequently, in the constitutional justice case at issue, subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, the Constitutional Court will investigate the compliance of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 is not considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

II

1. It has been mentioned that, in the constitutional justice case at issue, subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, the Constitutional Court is investigating the compliance of the legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen, insofar as, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 is not considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. In this context, it should be mentioned that, upon the restoration of its independence on 11 March 1990, the Republic of Lithuania brought under its jurisdiction the former state governance bodies that, in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), had fallen under republic and union-republic jurisdiction, inter alia, those of the system of the interior. On 11 March 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Law “On Changing the Status of the Lithuanian SSR’s Former State Governance Bodies under Union-Republic Jurisdiction”, which prescribed that all the Lithuanian SSR’s ministries, state committees, and agencies previously falling under union-republic jurisdiction were brought exclusively under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania.

The system of the interior was brought under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania and was reformed with the aim of ensuring public order and the security of society. On 21 March 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania issued an appeal to the employees of the establishments of the interior, whereby all citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, irrespective of their nationality and worldview, who had work experience in the establishments of the interior and were ready to take an oath of allegiance to Lithuania and to serve it, were invited to work in good faith. The appeal of the Supreme Council contained the provision ensuring that “the social guarantees of the interior employees will be preserved”. Thus, after restoring its independence, by means of the said appeal, the Republic of Lithuania took on the obligation to the interior employees who were loyal to it to preserve their social guarantees acquired before the restoration of independence.

3. The period of service required for the officials and servicemen of the system of the interior to be granted a state pension of officials and servicemen was for the first time regulated by the provisional legal regulation established in the Government Resolution (No. 490) “On Pension Provision for the Officials and Servicemen of the System of the Interior” of 25 June 1992.

Item 1 of the said resolution prescribed that, “until the Republic of Lithuania’s laws on the pensions of employees, officials, and servicemen of the systems of the Prosecution Service, the interior, state security, and national defence, and the Security Division of the Supreme Council are adopted and come into force: 1.1. for the officials and servicemen of the system of the interior, the length of service required to be granted a pension for the years served, as from 1 June 1992, shall include: <...> 1.1.4. the period of studying at the higher, special secondary, and further education police, militsiya, military, and internal affairs service schools of all states”.

This government resolution ceased to be in force on 1 January 1995 upon the entry into force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, adopted on 13 December 1994.

Thus, under the said provisional legal regulation established by the Government until the adoption and entry into force of, among other things, the legal regulation governing the pensions of the officials of the system of the interior, from 1 June 1992 until the entry into force of the aforementioned law, i.e. until 1 January 1995, the length of service, inter alia, of the officials of the system of the interior, required to be granted a pension for the years served included, among other things, the period of studying at higher schools of the police and the internal affairs service.

4. As mentioned before, on 13 December 1994, the Seimas adopted the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, upon the entry into force of which, the aforementioned provisional legal regulation governing pension provision for the officials and servicemen of the system of the interior became no longer valid. This law established the persons who were granted and paid the state pensions of officials and servicemen, the grounds and conditions for granting and paying these pensions, and the sizes of these pensions.

4.1. Under Article 3 “The Conditions for Granting the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen” of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen to the officials and servicemen specified in the law, inter alia, the officials and servicemen of the interior, upon leaving service were linked with the requirement to have served in the respective system for 20 years or more.

Article 6 of the aforesaid law “The Period of Service of Officials and Servicemen Calculated for the Purpose of Granting a Pension” specified which periods were included, inter alia, into the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension to the officials and servicemen of the interior; among other things, the law determined that the period of service in the system of the interior started from the day of the appointment to the duties of an official or a serviceman.

In addition, the following provisions of Article 16 “The Entry into Force of the Law” of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service should be mentioned:

this law enters into force as from 1 January 1995 (Paragraph 1);

for persons recruited to serve as officials or servicemen of the interior, state security, national defence, and the Prosecution Service of the Republic of Lithuania, the periods specified in the law that were before the entry into force of this law, inter alia, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania, are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension (Item 6 of Paragraph 4).

4.2. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, in order that the indicated provisions of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service are interpreted systemically, it should be noted that:

the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen to the officials and servicemen specified in the law, inter alia, the officials and servicemen of the interior, after they leave the respective service were linked with the requirement to have the length of service required by the law;

under Article 6 of this law, the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension included the periods specified in the law, inter alia, the period of service in the system of the interior from the day of the appointment to the duties of an official or a serviceman; this legal regulation did not create preconditions for including any periods of studying at certain training establishments in the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension;

for persons, entitled under this law, to the state pensions of officials and servicemen, the law at the same time provided for the legal regulation under which, not only the periods specified in Article 6 of this law, but also certain other periods, that were before the entry into force of this law, i.e. until 1 January 1995, were additionally considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; according to this legal regulation, for persons recruited to serve, inter alia, as officials of the interior, among other things, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995 was considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; under this legal regulation, for the said persons, the period of studying at the equivalent training establishments after 1 January 1995 could not be considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

In this context, it should be noted that, although the legal regulation governing the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen has been amended and/or supplemented on more than one occasion, the requirement for the officials and servicemen specified in the law, inter alia, the officials and servicemen of the interior, after they leave their service, to have the length of service required by the law in order to be granted a state pension of officials and servicemen has remained unchanged.

5. The Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service was amended and/or supplemented on more than one occasion, inter alia, by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, the Special Investigation Service, State Security, National Defence, the Prosecution Service, the Department of Prisons and the Establishments and State Enterprises Subordinate to the Latter, which was adopted by the Seimas on 19 May 2005 and came into force on 1 July 2005; by Article 1 of this law, the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, the Special Investigation Service, State Security, National Defence, the Prosecution Service, the Department of Prisons and the Establishments and State Enterprises Subordinate to the Latter (wording of 13 December 1994 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was set forth in a new wording.

5.1. Under Article 6 “The Period of Service of Officials and Servicemen Calculated for the Purpose of Granting a Pension” of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), for persons, entitled under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, the officials of the system of the interior, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes, among other things, the period of the service specified in the law, inter alia, service in the system of the interior, from the day of the appointment to the duties of an official or a serviceman.

Paragraph 3 of Article 16 “The Entry into Force of the Law” of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), inter alia, prescribed that, for persons recruited to serve as officials or servicemen of the interior, state security, national defence, the Prosecution Service, the Special Investigation Service, the Department of Prisons and the establishments and state enterprises subordinate to the latter, the periods specified in the law that were before 1 January 1995, inter alia, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania (Item 6), were considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

Thus, the indicated legal regulation specified which periods were included in the period of service for persons, entitled under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, the officials of the system of the interior, as well as which periods before 1 January 1995 were additionally considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension to the officials and servicemen entitled under this law to a state pension of officials and servicemen.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, although the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the indicated law, inter alia, in Item 6 of this paragraph, has been amended on more than one occasion, nevertheless, it has remained unchanged with regard to the periods before 1 January 1995 that are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension to officials and servicemen entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen.

5.2. Having compared, from the aspect relevant to the case at issue, the indicated legal regulation laid down in Articles 6 and 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) with the legal regulation laid down in Articles 6 and 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, it should be noted that the legal regulation in question has, in substance, remained unchanged, i.e.:

it is prescribed that the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes the periods specified in Article 6 of this law: among other things, the period of the service specified in the law, inter alia, service in the system of the interior, from the day of the appointment to the duties of an official or a serviceman; the legal regulation laid down in Article 6 of this law did not create preconditions for including any periods of studying at certain training establishments in the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension;

for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, the law at the same time provides for the legal regulation under which not only the periods specified in Article 6 of this law, but also certain other periods, that were before 1 January 1995 are additionally considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; according to this legal regulation, for persons recruited to serve, inter alia, as officials of the system of the interior, among other things, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995 is considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; under this legal regulation, the period of studying by the said persons at the equivalent training establishments after 1 January 1995 could not be considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, although the legal regulation consolidated in Article 6 of the aforementioned law with regard to the calculation of the period of service of officials and servicemen for the purpose of granting a pension has been amended on more than one occasion, nevertheless, this legal regulation has remained unchanged in terms that no preconditions have been created for including any periods of studying after 1 January 1995 at the training establishments indicated in the law in the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

6. On 18 January 2007, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending and Supplementing the Title, as well as Articles 1, 3, 6, 12, and 16, of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, the Special Investigation Service, State Security, National Defence, the Prosecution Service, the Department of Prisons and the Establishments and State Enterprises Subordinate to the Latter. Under Article 1 of this law, the title of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, the Special Investigation Service, State Security, National Defence, the Prosecution Service, the Department of Prisons and the Establishments and State Enterprises Subordinate to the Latter was amended and set forth as the “Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen”; under Article 6 of the same law, inter alia, Paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the law, was amended.

Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, which, among other things, is impugned by the petitioner in the constitutional justice case at issue, provides that, for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, including persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the periods of service specified in the law that were before 1 January 1995, inter alia, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania, are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

After comparing, from the aspect relevant to this case, the legal regulation laid down in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen with the legal regulation laid down in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), it should be noted that the legal regulation laid down in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen has remained unchanged, i.e. for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the periods specified in the law that were before 1 January 1995, including, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania, are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; under this legal regulation, for the said persons, the period of studying at the respective training establishments after 1 January 1995 could not be considered equivalent to the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

7. On 2 October 2012, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Articles 1, 3, 6, 7, and 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, which came into force on 1 January 2013 and, by Article 5 of which, inter alia, Paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the law was amended.

It should be noted that Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wording of 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, which is, among other things, impugned by the petitioner in the constitutional justice case at issue, lays down the legal regulation analogous to the legal regulation laid down in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, i.e. for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the periods specified in the law that were before 1 January 1995, including, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania, are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; under this legal regulation, for the said persons, the period of studying at the respective training establishments after 1 January 1995 could not be considered equivalent to the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

8. In summarising the indicated legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service of officials and servicemen for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, from the aspect relevant to the constitutional justice case at issue, i.e. from the aspect of the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, it should be held that:

the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen provided and continues to provide for the legal regulation under which, for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes the periods specified in Article 6 of this law, including the service indicated in the law, inter alia, service in the system of the interior, from the day of the appointment to the duties of an official or a serviceman; this legal regulation did not and does not create preconditions for including any periods of studying at certain training establishments in the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension;

in addition, Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen provided and continues to provide for the legal regulation under which, for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, not only the periods specified in Article 6 of this law, but also certain other periods, that were before 1 January 1995, are additionally considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; according to this legal regulation, for persons recruited to serve as the officials and servicemen specified in the law, inter alia, as officials of the system of the interior, among other things, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995 was and continues to be considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; under this legal regulation, the period of studying by the said persons at the equivalent training establishments after 1 January 1995 could not and cannot be considered equivalent to the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

9. In the context of the arguments submitted by the petitioner in the constitutional justice case at issue, separate consideration should be given to the legal regulation concerning the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen (among other things, as laid down in the law regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen) that regulated and continues to regulate the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension.

9.1. It should be noted that Paragraph 5 of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, as well as, after this law was set forth in a new wording upon adopting the Law on Pensions, Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), provided that, for the officials of the system of the State Security Department, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension included the period of service specified in Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department.

Thus, the law regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, upon the entry into force of which, the aforementioned provisional legal regulation governing pension provision for the officials and servicemen of the system of the interior ceased to be in force, as well as the subsequent wording of this law, provided for a separate legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension: the calculation of the period of service of these officials for the purpose of granting a pension was subject to the provisions of Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department.

While interpreting these provisions in the context of the aforementioned legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen to persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, it should be noted that Paragraph 5 of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, as well as Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), provided for a special legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension: the calculation of the period of service of these officials for the purpose of granting a pension was subject to the legal regulation established in Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department, rather than to the legal regulation that was laid down in the law regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen and was applicable to the calculation of the period of service of all persons entitled, under this law, to the said pension, and, according to which, for persons entitled, under the said law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, among other things, certain periods specified in the law that were before 1 January 1995 were considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

9.1.1. In this context, it should be noted that, on 20 January 1994, the Seimas adopted the Law on the State Security Department, which came into force on 9 February 1994 and was, subsequently, amended and/or supplemented on more than one occasion. This law regulated the mission of the State Security Department, the legal grounds for its activity, its tasks and functions, structure, rights and duties, funding, social guarantees of its employees, as well as the means for the control of its activity (Article 1).

Thus, the Law on the State Security Department was a special law designated, among other things, to regulate the activity of the State Security Department and the social guarantees of its employees.

9.1.2. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that Article 28 “The Time Served by the Officials of the State Security Department” (wordings of 13 December 1994, 18 January 2007, and 6 October 2008) of the Law on the State Security Department provided for the following legal regulation of the calculation of the length of service of (the time served by) the officials of the State Security Department:

under Item 4 of Article 28 (wordings of 13 December 1994 and 18 January 2007) of this law, the time served by the officials of the State Security Department, which qualified them for a pension of an official, included, according to the procedure prescribed in the law, only the period of studying at the permanent training establishments of the interior before the entry into force of the aforementioned law, i.e. before 1 January 1995;

under Item 4 of Article 28 (wording of 6 October 2008) of this law, the length of service of the said officials included the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania irrespective of when the relevant period took place.

9.2. On 17 October 2012, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 6, and 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, by Article 3 of which Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the law was amended.

Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen prescribes: “For the officials of the system of the State Security Department appointed to office before 31 December 2012, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension shall include those periods that, until the entry into force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending the Law on Intelligence, were included in the length of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department under Article 28 of the then valid Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Security Department.”

Thus, Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen provided for a special legal regulation applicable in calculating, for the purpose of granting a pension, the period of service of exclusively the officials of the system of the State Security Department appointed to office before 31 December 2012: the period of service of these officials for the purpose of granting a pension included those periods that, until the entry into force of the Law Amending the Law on Intelligence, had been included in the length of their service under Article 28 of the then valid Law on the State Security Department.

9.2.1. In this context, it should be noted that, on 17 October 2012, the Seimas adopted the Law Amending the Law on Intelligence, which came into force (with a certain exception) on 1 January 2013 and, by Article 4 of which, upon the entry into force of this law, inter alia, the Law on the State Security Department, adopted on 20 January 1994, and its subsequent amendments were declared no longer valid.

From the explanatory note to the draft of the said law, it is clear that this law was prepared in order, among other things, to comprehensively and consistently regulate intelligence, counterintelligence, as well as the conditions of the service and the social guarantees of intelligence officials.

It should be noted that, upon the entry into force of the Law Amending the Law on Intelligence, the legal grounds for the activity of the State Security Department, the status of its officials, as well as their conditions of service and social guarantees, are established by the Law on Intelligence (wording of 17 October 2012). After these amendments to the legal regulation in question were made, the procedure for implementing the right of the officials of the State Security Department to receive a state pension of officials and servicemen, as well as the procedure for granting such a pension, inter alia, the legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting this pension, is established exclusively in the legal acts regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen (in accordance with Paragraph 2 of Article 66 of the Law on Intelligence (wording of 17 October 2012)).

In this context, it should be noted that, although the Law on Intelligence (wording of 17 October 2012) has been amended on more than one occasion, the legal regulation under which the procedure for implementing the right of the officials of the State Security Department to receive a state pension of officials and servicemen, as well as the procedure for granting such a pension, is established exclusively in the legal acts regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen has remained unchanged from the aspect relevant to the constitutional justice case at issue.

9.2.2. When interpreting Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen in the context of the indicated legal regulation laid down in the Law Amending the Law on Intelligence and the Law on Intelligence (wording of 17 October 2012), it should be noted that:

the special legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension applies not to all, but exclusively to certain, officials of the State Security Department: only for the officials appointed to office before 31 December 2012, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes those periods that, until the entry into force of the Law Amending the Law on Intelligence, i.e. until 1 January 2013, were included in the length of their service under Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department;

for the officials of the system of the State Security Department appointed to office after 31 December 2012, the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension is subject to the legal regulation established exclusively in the legal acts regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, i.e. all persons entitled, under the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, are subject to the legal regulation under which certain additional periods are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a state pension, inter alia, the said officials are subject to the general rule consolidated in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen according to which the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes only those periods of studying at the training establishments specified in the law that were before 1 January 1995.

9.2.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, after comparing, from the aspect under investigation in this case, the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen with the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), it should be noted that the legal regulation in question has changed: although this legal regulation continues to provide for the preconditions that allow, with regard to the officials of the system of the State Security Department, to include, in the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, the period of service provided for under Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department, nevertheless, under the newly established legal regulation governing the state pensions of officials and servicemen, this special legal regulation of the inclusion of the served period in the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension is applicable exclusively to those officials of the system of the State Security Department who were appointed to office before 31 December 2012.

9.3. In summarising, from the aspect relevant to the constitutional justice case at issue, the legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension, among other things, the legal regulation laid down in the law regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, it should be held that:

the law regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen (upon the entry into force of which, the provisional legal regulation, which provided for the pension provision for the officials and servicemen of the system of the interior and which, for the first time, regulated the period of service required for the officials and servicemen of the system of the interior to be granted a state pension of officials and servicemen, ceased to be in force) provides for a special legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension: under Paragraph 5 of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service, as well as, under Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Law on Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department calculated for the purpose of granting a pension included the period of service specified in Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department; under Item 4 of Article 28 (wordings of 13 December 1994 and 18 January 2007) of the Law on the State Security Department, the time served by the officials of the State Security Department, which qualified them for a pension of an official, included, according to the procedure prescribed in the law, only the period of studying at the permanent training establishments of the interior before the entry into force of the said law, i.e. before 1 January 1995; under Item 4 of Article 28 (wording of 6 October 2008) of the Law on the State Security Department, the length of service of the said officials included the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania irrespective of when this period took place;

under Paragraph 4 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the special legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension, according to which the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension included the period of service specified in Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department, applies not to all, but only to certain, officials of the State Security Department: only for the officials appointed to office before 31 December 2012, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes those periods that, until the entry into force of the Law Amending the Law on Intelligence, i.e. until 1 January 2013, were included in the length of their service under Article 28 of the Law on the State Security Department; with regard to the officials of the system of the State Security Department appointed to office after 31 December 2012, the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension is subject to the legal regulation established exclusively in the legal acts regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, i.e. all persons entitled, under the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, are subject to the legal regulation under which certain additional periods are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a state pension, inter alia, the said officials are subject to the general rule consolidated in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen according to which the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes only those periods of studying at the training establishments specified in the law that were before 1 January 1995.

10. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, those provisions of laws that reveal certain peculiarities of the activity of the State Security Department should also be mentioned.

10.1. The Law on the State Security Department defines the State Security Department as an institution that, while protecting the sovereignty of the Republic of Lithuania and its constitutional order and acting in the interests of the State of Lithuania, conducts intelligence and counterintelligence activities (Article 1 and Item 1 of Article 8).

10.2. As mentioned before, on 1 January 2013, upon the entry into force of the Law Amending the Law on Intelligence (with a certain exception), the Law on the State Security Department and its amendments were declared no longer valid.

Under the legal regulation consolidated in the Law on Intelligence (wording of 17 October 2012), the State Security Department is one of the intelligence institutions, whose mission, among other things, is to reinforce the national security of the Republic of Lithuania, and which is commissioned to conduct intelligence and counterintelligence (Paragraph 5 of Article 2, Article 6, and Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 8).

10.3. In summarising, from the aspect relevant to the constitutional justice case at issue, the provisions of legal acts that reveal the peculiarities of the activity of the State Security Department, it should be noted that, under the provisions of the Law on the State Security Department, as well as under the provisions of the Law on Intelligence (wording of 17 October 2012), which replaced the Law on the State Security Department and is currently applicable in its new wording, the State Security Department is an institution commissioned to conduct intelligence and counterintelligence in order to protect the sovereignty of the Republic of Lithuania and to reinforce its national security.

III

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue, the Constitutional Court is investigating, to the specified extent, the compliance of the legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen with regard to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

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 itself are based, also that the content of this constitutional principle is disclosed in various provisions of the Constitution, inter alia, Article 29 thereof, which consolidates the principle of the equality of the rights of persons. A violation of the constitutional principle of the equality of the rights of persons is, at the same time, a violation of the constitutional imperatives of justice and harmonious society, thus, it is also a violation of the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 6 February 2012 and 14 December 2012).

3. Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Constitution prescribes that the Constitution is an integral and directly applicable 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; it is not permitted to interpret any provision of the Constitution in such a way that would distort or deny the content of another provision of the Constitution, 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 4 March 2003, 16 January 2006, 14 March 2006, and 24 September 2009).

When interpreting the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution in the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, consideration should be given to Article 52 of the Constitution, inter alia, the requirements stemming from this article that must be observed by the legislature in regulating, by legal acts, relations connected with the state pensions of officials and servicemen.

3.1. Article 52 of the Constitution 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, the loss of the breadwinner, and in other cases provided for by law.”

Thus, Article 52 of the Constitution lays down the bases for pension provision and social assistance; according to this article of the Constitution, the legislature is obliged to provide, by means of a law, for old-age and disability pensions, as well as for social assistance in the event of unemployment, sickness, widowhood, and the loss of the breadwinner (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 4 July 2003).

3.2. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that, under the Constitution, the law may also provide for other pensions and social assistance in addition to those expressis verbis indicated in Article 52 of the Constitution. The provision “The State shall guarantee” of Article 52 of the Constitution, inter alia, means that, once the law provides for certain pension provision, the state has the duty to guarantee this provision to the specified persons under such grounds and in such sizes that are provided for in the law, and the persons who meet the conditions established in the law have the right to demand that the state grant and pay them the pension they qualify for; thus, the aforementioned provision of Article 52 of the Constitution implies the duty for the legislature, once it provides for a certain pension in a law, to lay down such a legal regulation that would ensure the payment of this pension to persons who meet the conditions established in the law (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 4 July 2003).

3.2.1. The Constitutional Court has noted on more than one occasion that the pensions other than those directly identified in Article 52 of the Constitution are currently established, among other things, in the Law on State Pensions; a law may, inter alia, establish pensions for certain service to the State of Lithuania.

The following provisions of the official constitutional doctrine formulated by the Constitutional Court in relation to state pensions 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 granted to persons for the service performed to the State of Lithuania or in recognition of merit, and as compensation to victims specified by law (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 3 December 2003 and 24 December 2008, its decision of 20 April 2010, its ruling of 29 June 2010, and its decision of 14 January 2015); entitlement to these pensions is linked not with the social insurance pension contributions of an established size, but with a particular status of the person (service, merit, or other circumstances upon which entitlement to a 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 having regard to the norms and principles of the Constitution, to establish the respective conditions for granting these pensions (the Constitutional Court’s ruling 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 granting of state pensions is broader than in regulating other pensions; the conditions for granting 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 and 6 February 2012).

3.2.2. A state pension of officials and servicemen is one of the types of pensions not directly named in Article 52 of the Constitution. The purpose of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, which are stablished in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, is, inter alia, to compensate for a difficult, responsible, and often risk-involving and dangerous service performed by a person to the state (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008 and 22 February 2013); after such a state pension is established in a law, the granting and receipt of this pension must specifically be related to the service performed by a person to the State of Lithuania (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 22 February 2013).

3.2.2.1. In this context, it should be noted that the Constitutional Court has held that the officials of statutory state institutions (inter alia, police, the establishments of the internal service and the security service) perform statutory state service—a specific type of state service, which is different from other (civil) state service and military service. The concept of statutory state service gives rise, inter alia, to the following features specific of this service: statutory relations of strict hierarchical subordination, characterised by, inter alia, a specific regime of the performance of service, special requirements for the officials of statutory state institutions (inter alia, those related to their loyalty to the State of Lithuania and their reliability, education, age, state of health, etc.), specific powers vested in these officials (inter alia, with regard to persons not subordinate to them, as well as those related to the use of coercive measures), special social and other guarantees (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 27 February 2012).

3.2.2.2. The peculiarities of state pensions permit the legislature, by taking account of all the significant circumstances and having regard to the norms and principles of the Constitution, to establish the respective conditions for granting the state pensions of officials and servicemen (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008 and 22 February 2013).

The legislature, when establishing who may be granted and paid a state pension of officials and servicemen, the grounds and conditions for granting and paying this pension, as well as the sizes of this pension, must observe the constitutional principle of the equality of all persons (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 26 September 2007), as well as pay regard to the requirement, stemming from Article 29 of the Constitution, to treat equally officials and servicemen whose legal situation is the same and where, among them, there are no differences of such a nature and extent that would objectively justify their unequal treatment (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008 and 22 February 2013). If, in regulating pension provision for officials and servicemen, the legislature paid no regard, inter alia, to the imperatives of an open, just, and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law, as consolidated in the Constitution, and, in particular, if the legislature took no account of the specificity of the service performed by officials and servicemen, the nature of specific duties, or other significant circumstances, the granting and payment of such a pension would become a privilege, and, thus, such pension provision could not be guaranteed under the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003 and 13 December 2004).

3.2.2.3. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, in regulating the granting of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, the legislature must define, among other things, the period of service required in order to be granted this state pension; certain other periods that are connected with service, inter alia, the period of preparing for service, can be regarded as equivalent to the period of service required in order to be granted a state pension. Having regard to the Constitution, inter alia, the principle of the equality of the rights of persons, as consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, the legislature has broad discretion in establishing this legal regulation: taking account of the significant circumstances, as, for instance, the existing constitutionally justified objective that, at certain periods significant to the state, the activity of statutory state institutions performing certain specific functions be ensured, inter alia, by encouraging duly qualified persons to enter service in these institutions, the legislature, among other things, may, with regard to the officials of the said individual statutory state institutions, provide for a legal regulation characterised by certain peculiarities in relation to the calculation of the period of service required to be granted a state pension of officials and servicemen, as well as in relation to the establishment of other periods that are considered equivalent to this period.

IV

On the compliance of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 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, subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, the Constitutional Court is investigating the compliance of Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 is not considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. As mentioned before, Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen provided and continues to provide for the legal regulation under which, for persons recruited to serve, inter alia, as officials in the system of the interior, inter alia, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995 is considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

3. It has also been mentioned that, from the entirety of the arguments set forth in the petition and the material of the administrative case under consideration by the petitioner, it is clear that the constitutionality of the legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior is impugned by the petitioner namely for the reason that the petitioner does not agree with the fact that, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, differently from, according to the petitioner, the officials of the State Security Department, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension is considered equivalent to the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania only before 1 January 1995, whereas the corresponding period after 1 January 1995 is excluded.

4. In assessing, from the aspect relevant to the constitutional justice case at issue, whether the legal regulation of the calculation of the period of service for the purpose of granting a pension, as established in Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, did not deviate from the requirements stemming from Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it should be noted that, as mentioned before:

if, in regulating pension provision for officials and servicemen, the legislature paid no regard to the Constitution, inter alia, the imperatives of an open, just, and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law and the principle of the equality of the rights of persons, and, in particular, if the legislature took no account of the specificity of the service performed by officials and servicemen, the nature of specific duties, or other significant circumstances, the granting and payment of such a pension would become a privilege, and, thus, such pension provision could not be guaranteed under the Constitution;

the purpose of the state pensions of officials and servicemen is, inter alia, to compensate for the difficult, responsible, and often risk-involving and dangerous service performed by a person to the state; the peculiarities of state pensions permit the legislature, taking account of all the significant circumstances and having regard to the norms and principles of the Constitution, to establish particular conditions for granting these pensions; the discretion of the legislature in establishing the granting of state pensions is broader than in regulating other pensions; the conditions for granting state pensions may be very different;

when regulating the granting of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, the legislature must define, among other things, the period of service required in order to be granted this state pension; certain other periods that are connected with service, inter alia, the period of preparing for service, can be regarded as equivalent to the period of service required in order to be granted a state pension.

4.1. It has been mentioned that, under the legal regulation governing the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, the granting and payment of these pensions to officials and servicemen, inter alia, officials of the system of the interior, after they leave their service were and continue to be linked, among other things, with the requirement to have the length of service established in the law.

As mentioned before, the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen provided and continues to provide for the legal regulation under which, for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension includes the periods specified in Article 6 of this law, including the service indicated in the law, inter alia, service in the system of the interior, from the day of the appointment to the duties of an official or a serviceman; this legal regulation did not and does not create preconditions for including any periods of studying at certain training establishments in the period of service of officials and servicemen calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

It has also been mentioned that Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen also provided and continues to provide for the legal regulation under which, for persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen, inter alia, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, not only the periods specified in Article 6 of this law, but also certain other periods that were before 1 January 1995, are additionally considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; according to this legal regulation, for persons recruited to serve as the officials and servicemen specified in the law, inter alia, as officials of the system of the interior, among other things, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995 was and continues to be considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension; under this legal regulation, the period of studying by the said persons at the equivalent training establishments after 1 January 1995 could not and cannot be considered equivalent to the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

4.2. Thus, by means of the indicated legal regulation laid down in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the legislature has established certain conditions for granting the state pensions of officials and servicemen: the legislature has specified the service for which the said state pension is granted and paid under the conditions and procedure prescribed in the law, as well as has additionally provided for certain other periods connected with service that are considered equivalent to the period of service, inter alia, the period indicated in the law for preparing for service, i.e. in this way, the legislature has implemented its broad discretion, stemming from the Constitution, in establishing conditions for granting the state pensions of officials and servicemen.

4.3. In this context, it should be noted that the doubts of the petitioner as to whether such discretion of the legislature, from the aspect relevant to the constitutional justice case at issue, has been implemented by observing the Constitution are substantially based on the reasoning that, according to the petitioner, with regard to persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the impugned legal regulation has groundlessly provided for a different regulation of additional periods considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, if compared to that established with regard to the officials of the system of the State Security Department: according to the petitioner, the impugned legal regulation (differently from the legal regulation applicable to the calculation of the length of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department) creates no preconditions for including, with regard to persons recruited to serve in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (interior affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 in the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension.

4.3.1. As mentioned before, having regard to the Constitution, inter alia, the principle of the equality of the rights of persons, as consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, the legislature has broad discretion in establishing a legal regulation governing the calculation of the period of service required in order to be granted a state pension of officials and servicemen, as well as in establishing other periods considered equivalent to this period of service:

taking account of the significant circumstances, as, for instance, the existing constitutionally justified objective that, at certain periods significant to the state, the activity of statutory state institutions performing certain specific functions be ensured, inter alia, by encouraging duly qualified persons to enter service in these institutions, the legislature, among other things, may, with regard to the officials of the said individual statutory state institutions, provide for a legal regulation characterised by certain peculiarities in relation to the calculation of the period of service required to be granted a state pension of officials and servicemen, as well as in relation to the establishment of other periods that are considered equivalent to this period.

4.3.2. It has been mentioned that Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, under which certain additional periods, inter alia, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania before 1 January 1995, are considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen, applies to all persons entitled, under this law, to a state pension of officials and servicemen.

It has also been mentioned that the law regulating the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen at the same time provides for a special legal regulation applicable to the calculation of the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension: this period was formerly calculated under a special law designated to regulate the activity of the State Security Department and the social guarantees of its employees, under which, inter alia, for a certain period of time, the length of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department could also include the period of studying at the respective schools after 1 January 1995.

It also needs to be mentioned that the State Security Department is an institution commissioned to conduct intelligence and counterintelligence in order to protect the sovereignty of the Republic of Lithuania and to reinforce its national security.

4.3.3. It should be noted that, in the constitutional justice case at issue, there are grounds for stating that, in seeking to encourage, upon the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania, a required number of duly qualified specialists to take up office in a newly formed statutory state institution—the State Security Department, which performs specific functions, the legislature could, among other things, provide for a special legal regulation (i.e., the one characterised by certain peculiarities compared to the legal regulation applicable to the officials who chose service in other statutory state institutions) in relation to the calculation of the period of service of the officials who chose service in the State Security Department, as well as in relation to the establishment of other periods considered equivalent to the period of their service calculated for the purpose of granting a state pension of officials and servicemen, among other things, the legal regulation establishing the preconditions for including, during a certain period of time, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 in the period of service (length of service) of these persons.

Thus, the aforementioned special legal regulation, under which certain other periods are considered equivalent to the period of service of the officials of the system of the State Security Department for the purpose of granting a pension, should be judged as a legal regulation established in order to achieve the constitutionally justified objective to encourage a required number of duly qualified specialists to take up office in this statutory state institution; this legal regulation created no preconditions for violating (inter alia, form the aspect indicated by the petitioner) any constitutional requirements applicable to the implementation of discretion by the legislature in establishing conditions for granting the state pensions of officials and servicemen.

4.4. As mentioned before, the Constitution is an integral act; all provisions of the Constitution are interrelated and constitute a single and harmonious system; when interpreting the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution, consideration should be given to Article 52 of the Constitution, inter alia, the requirements stemming from this article that must be observed by the legislature in regulating, by legal acts, relations connected with the state pensions of officials and servicemen.

It should be held that, by establishing the impugned legal regulation, designated to achieve the constitutionally justified objective, the legislature has implemented its discretion to determine the period of service required for the officials of certain statutory state institutions in order to be granted a pension (and/or the period considered equivalent to this period); this legal regulation has created no preconditions for deviating from the requirements that stem from Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law and are applicable in establishing conditions for granting the state pensions of officials and servicemen.

5. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wordings of 18 January 2007 and 2 October 2012) of Article 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 is not considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, is (was) not in conflict with Paragraph 1 of Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Conforming to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 1, 53, 531, 54, 55, and 56 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania gives the following

ruling:

To recognise that Item 6 of Paragraph 3 (wording of 18 January 2007, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No. 8-314; wording of 2 October 2012, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2012, No. 122-6113) of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as, for persons recruited to serve as officials in the system of the interior, the period of studying at the higher police (internal affairs) schools of the Republic of Lithuania after 1 January 1995 is not considered equivalent to the period of service calculated for the purpose of granting a pension, is (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

                                                                                     Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                                     Vytas Milius

                                                                                     Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                                     Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                                     Dainius Žalimas