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On paying the state pensions of officials and servicemen to working judges and state servants

Case no 39/2014-2/2015

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF ITEMS 1 AND 5 OF PARAGRAPH 1 (WORDING of 18 JANUARY 2007) OF ARTICLE 3 AND PARAGRAPH 1 (WORDING of 19 MAY 2005) OF ARTICLE 11 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen WITH THE Constitution OF THE Republic of Lithuania AND ON DISMISSING PART OF THE CASE

 

26 January 2016, no KT5-N2/2016

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

Judge Ernestas Spruogis, acting as the representative of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, at the Court’s public hearing on 29 December 2015, considered constitutional justice case no 39/2014-2/2015 subsequent to:

1) the petition (no 1B-51/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into:

the compliance of the provision “The state pension of officials and servicemen shall be granted and paid to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this Law after they leave service if […] they have served for 20 years or more in the systems of the interior […]” of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, as well as Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the same law, insofar as they did not prohibit judges from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance;

the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, insofar as it did not prohibit judges from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance;

2) the petition (no 1B-78/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into:

the compliance of Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as they did not prohibit state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance;

the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wording of 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, insofar as it did not prohibit state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.

By the Constitutional Court’s decision of 16 December 2015, the above-mentioned petitions were joined into one case, which was given reference no 39/2014-2/2015.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, was considering two administrative cases concerning awarding the parts of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, which had been unlawfully reduced under the provisions of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, to a person who, after obtaining the right to the state pension mentioned above for his service under the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, has been holding the position of a judge at a local court and to a person who, having acquired the right to the said state pension for his service under the same law, held the position of a substitute state servant (for the period of slightly over two months) at the Department of Prisons under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.

Having found that there were grounds for doubting whether the persons concerned could qualify for the state pension of officials and servicemen under the Constitution at all if, at the same time, they were holding the office of a judge or had held the office of a state servant, and having stated that, only after removing this doubt, it would be possible to solve the question regarding the claims of the persons concerned for the award of the state pensions of officials and servicemen to the extent these pensions had been unlawfully reduced, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court suspended the consideration of the administrative cases at issue and applied to the Constitutional Court requesting an investigation into the constitutionality of the impugned provisions of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen and the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits.

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

Under the Constitution, granting and paying a state pension can be lawful only in cases where the person needs social assistance, or in certain special cases compliant with the Constitution and provided for under the laws. The granting and payment of the state pensions of the first and second degree of the Republic of Lithuania, the state pensions of victims, the state pensions of scientists, and the state pensions of judges, which are all provided for under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Pensions, is essentially linked not only with service, but also with old age or disability, i.e. basically with the need for social assistance; whereas the state pensions of officials and servicemen are paid primarily for service.

According to the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, the state pensions of officials and servicemen, by their nature and character, differ from state social insurance pensions (thus, also from old-age pensions) in that the state pensions of officials and servicemen are granted to persons for their service to the State of Lithuania and are paid from the state budget. The particularities indicated above imply that the legislature also has the powers to establish such a legal regulation under which the pensions in question are not granted to persons who have not left service or such pensions are not paid to persons who, having left service and having been granted and paid the state pension of officials and servicemen, re-enter service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid.

The right to receive the state pension of officials and servicemen is not constitutionally established, as it is not provided for under the Constitution. Thus, unlike in the case of state social insurance pensions, the legislature may or may not provide for the state pension of officials and servicemen or, having decided to establish it, the legislature may lay down various conditions under which persons are or are not entitled to the state pension of officials and servicemen, provided these conditions do not contradict the Constitution. Since the right to receive the state pension of officials and servicemen is not constitutionally established, this right can be assessed while comparing it to the constitutional rights to work and to property only if such an assessment is subject to certain reservations.

When establishing the right to a pension for service, the legislature is bound by the norms and principles of the Constitution and the striving, laid down in its Preamble, for an open, just, and harmonious civil society and a state under the rule of law, also by the principle of the social orientation of the state, as well as the principle of responsible governance, which, among other things, ensures the sustainable social and economic development of the state and means that, through granting privileges to certain persons, the state may not suffer financial depletion. Thus, the legislature not only has the powers, but is also under the constitutional duty, to establish such a legal regulation under which the pensions in question are not granted to persons who have not left service or such pensions are not paid to persons who, having left service and having been granted and paid the state pension of officials and servicemen, re-enter service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid.

Since, under the Constitution, state (public) service, which is maintained from the state and municipal budgets, is integral from the perspective of its constitutional purpose and must ensure that the public interest is met, state pensions, in view of the overall constitutional regulation, may not be granted and, if they have been granted, may not be paid to any persons holding office in state (public) service or performing the functions of state power, among them, judges and state servants. A different interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution would mean that persons holding office in state (public) service or performing the functions of state power are paid a state pension as a privilege and this would be incompatible with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the social orientation of the state, and responsible governance.

II

In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, written explanations were received from Jonas Varkala, a member of the Seimas, acting as the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, in which it is maintained that the impugned provisions of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen and the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits are not in conflict with the Constitution. The position of the representative of the Seimas, the party concerned, is substantiated by the following arguments.

Under the Constitution, in addition to old-age and disability pensions, expressis verbis specified in Article 52 of the Constitution, other pensions may also be established by means of a law. One of such pensions is the state pension of officials and servicemen, which is regulated by a separate law and is granted and paid for service in the systems and institutions of the interior, state security, national defence, and the prosecution service, as specified under the law.

According to the official constitutional doctrine, the purpose of the state pension of officials and servicemen, which is consolidated by means of a law, is, inter alia, to compensate for the difficult, responsible, and often risk-involving and dangerous service performed by the person to the state; the particularities of state pensions allow the legislature, taking into account all the significant circumstances and having regard to the norms and principles of the Constitution, to accordingly establish the conditions for granting these pensions; the receipt of these pensions is linked to the particular status of a person (his/her service, merit, or other circumstances upon which the granting of a state pension depends). Thus, the legislature has the discretion to determine persons to whom the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid, as well as the grounds and conditions for granting and paying this pension.

While implementing this discretion, the legislature is bound by the Constitution, among other things, by the constitutional principle of the equality of persons, according to which officials and servicemen whose legal situation is the same, i.e. there are no differences among them of such a nature or scope that would objectively justify the unequal treatment of these officials and servicemen, must be treated in the same manner. Thus, the legislature, taking into account the above-mentioned constitutional doctrine, was not and is not allowed to exclude, among others, judges and state servants from the recipients of the state pension of officials and servicemen and to establish with regard to them such conditions for paying the state pension of officials and servicemen that would be different from the conditions established with regard to other recipients of this pension (e.g. advocates, bailiffs, or persons employed in the private sector), i.e. to provide that judges and state servants are not paid this pension or that they are paid this pension in a different way while they are holding the said office.

III

In the course of the preparation of the case for the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a written opinion of Algimanta Pabedinskienė, the Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, was received.

IV

At the hearing of the Constitutional Court, Judge Ernestas Spruogis, the representative of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, mostly reiterated the arguments set out in the petitions, provided additional explanations, and answered the questions of the justices of the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance were violated by the following:

the provision “The state pension of officials and servicemen shall be granted and paid to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this Law after they leave service if [...] they have served for 20 years or more in the systems of the interior [...]” of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as the said provision did not prohibit judges from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen;

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as the said item did not prohibit state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen;

Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as the said paragraph did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen;

Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, insofar as the said paragraph did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen.

2. On 13 December 1994, the Seimas adopted 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, which came into force on 1 January 1995.

It should be noted that the travaux préparatoires of the said law make it clear that this law, among other things, was aimed at ensuring the proper functioning of the institutions of the interior, state security, national defence, and the prosecution service, as well as at establishing such a legal regulation under which the amount of the state pension of officials and servicemen and the conditions for granting and paying this pension would ensure the attractiveness of service for which this pension is granted and would encourage persons who satisfy the requirements set to the officials and servicemen of statutory state institutions to enter this service.

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 It, which was adopted by the Seimas on 19 May 2005 and, by Article 1 whereof, the Law on the State Pensions of the Officials and Servicemen of the Interior, State Security, National Defence, and the Prosecution Service (wording of 13 December 1994 with subsequent amendments and supplements) was amended and set out in its new wording, as well as by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending and Supplementing the Title and 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 It, which was adopted by the Seimas on 18 October 2007 and, by Article 1 whereof, the previous title of the law was changed to the “Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen”.

3. Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) (the compliance of Items 1 and 5 whereof, to the specified extent, with the Constitution is impugned by the petitioner) of Article 3 “The Conditions for Granting the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen” of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen prescribed:

The state pension of officials and servicemen shall be granted and paid to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this Law after they leave service if:

1) they have served for 20 years or more in the systems of the interior, state security, or national defence, in the Special Investigation Service, the Department of Prisons or the establishments and state enterprises subordinate to it, or in the customs system (have worked in customs mobile groups or customs posts or have carried out operational activities and/or pretrial investigation);

[...]

5) they have reached the age established by the laws or statutes for transfer to the reserve (the age for the old-age pension where the age mentioned before is not established) and have served for 5 years or more in the systems of the interior, state security, national defence, and the prosecution service, in the Special Investigation Service, the Department of Prisons or establishments and state enterprises subordinate to it, or in the customs system (who have worked in customs mobile groups or customs posts, or who have carried out operational activities and/or pretrial investigation).”

Thus, Article 3, inter alia, Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) thereof, of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, lays down the conditions for granting and paying the state pensions of officials and servicemen to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this law.

4. Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) (whose compliance with the Constitution, to the specified extent, is impugned by the petitioner) of Article 11 “The Payment of the Pension to Serving and Working Pensioners” of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen prescribed: “Serving officials and servicemen shall not be paid state pensions, except widow(er)’s pensions.” This, inter alia, means that, if officials and servicemen having left service and having been granted and paid the state pension of officials and servicemen re-entered service, for which the state pension of officials and servicemen was granted and paid, they were not paid such a pension.

5. In summing up the legal regulation on the granting and payment of the state pensions of officials and servicemen, as consolidated in Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, it should be noted that the state pension of officials and servicemen could be granted and paid to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this law only provided that they:

had left service, i.e. had left the office of an official or a serviceman in the systems of the interior, state security, and national defence, in the Special Investigation Service, the Department of Prisons or establishments and state enterprises subordinate to it, or in other institutions specified in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen;

satisfied other conditions provided for in the law: they had served for 20 years or more in the system of the interior or other specified systems (had performed particular work in the customs system) or institutions, or had served for 5 years or more, but less than 20 years, and had reached the age established in the laws or statutes for transfer to the reserve (the age for the old-age pension where the age for transfer to the reserve was not established).

Thus, it should be held that, under Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, officials and servicemen who satisfied the conditions established in the law for granting the state pension of officials and servicemen (who had served a certain number of years, or had served the minimum established number of years and had reached a certain age) but had not left service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen was granted, or had re-entered this service, were not granted and/or paid the state pension of officials and servicemen.

6. It should be noted that neither the impugned provisions of Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen nor any other provisions of this law prescribed that the state pension of officials and servicemen was not granted and/or paid to officials and servicemen entitled to it if they, having left service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen was granted and paid, had other work, inter alia, held the office of a judge or state servant.

7. Article 3, inter alia, Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) thereof, and Article 11 (wording of 19 May 2005) of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen were amended on more than one occasion.

7.1. On 10 July 2014, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Articles 3, 12, 15, and 16 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, Supplementing the Law with Article 151, and Declaring Article 11 of the Law as No Longer Valid, Save the Prescribed Exception; this law came into force on 1 January 2015 and, by Article 1 thereof, the Seimas amended Article 3 (wording of 19 May 2005 with subsequent amendments) of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen and supplemented this article with Paragraph 3 as follows: “Serving officials and servicemen shall not be paid state pensions, except widow(er)’s pensions”; by Article 2 of the said law, the Seimas declared Article 11 (wording of 19 May 2005 with the subsequent amendment) of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen as no longer valid.

Thus, the impugned Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen was declared as no longer valid; however, the provision previously contained therein remained – it was consolidated in Paragraph 3 (wording of 10 July 2014) of Article 3 of this law.

7.2. On 25 June 2015, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Articles 3, 6, 7, 9, and 16 of the Law (No I-693) on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen and Supplementing the Law with Article 152, Save the Prescribed Exception; this law came into force on 1 January 2016 and, by Article 1 thereof, the Seimas amended Article 3 (wording of 19 May 2005 with subsequent amendments) of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen; however, the legal regulation established in this article was not changed from the aspect that it does not prescribe that the state pension of officials and servicemen is not granted and/or paid to officials and servicemen entitled to it if they, having left service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid, have other work, inter alia, hold the office of a judge or state servant.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be mentioned that the legal regulation laid down in Article 3 (wording of 25 June 2015) of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, compared with the previously valid legal regulation, has changed only in that the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid if a person has served in the system of the interior or other specified systems (has performed particular work in the customs system) and institutions not for 20 years or more, but for 25 years or more. In addition, the current legal regulation provides for a transitional period during which the requirement to have served for 25 years does not apply to certain officials and servicemen taking into account the length of their service for the purpose of granting the state pension of officials and servicemen.

8. In the context of this constitutional justice case on the constitutionality of the legal regulation related to persons who receive the state pension of officials and servicemen and hold the office of a judge or state servant, it is pertinent to mention the provisions of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen that regulate the constituent parts determining the amount of the state pension of officials and servicemen, as well as the provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Remuneration of Judges and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Service that respectively regulate the constituent parts of the remuneration of judges and those of the remuneration of state servants.

8.1. Under Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 7 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the state pension of officials and servicemen for service is determined based on the work remuneration established for the official or serviceman for the month in which he/she leaves service; this work remuneration includes the positional salary (service remuneration), also additional pay for the length of service to the State of Lithuania, the rank (service grade), and the qualification category (qualification grade), provided this additional pay complies with the procedure prescribed by law.

Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 7 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen has been amended on more than one occasion, inter alia, by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Articles 7 and 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, adopted by the Seimas on 23 April 2009, also by the above-mentioned Law Amending Articles 3, 6, 7, 9, and 16 of the Law (No I-693) on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen and Supplementing the Law with Article 152, adopted on 2015 m. June 25.

After comparing the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 1 (wordings of 23 April 2009 and 25 June 2015) of Article 7 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen with the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 7 of this Law, it should be noted that it has not changed from the aspect that the amount of the state pension of officials and servicemen for service depends on the amount of the work remuneration of the official or serviceman, which, among other things, includes additional pay for service to the State of Lithuania.

8.2. Under Paragraph 2 of Article 4 of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the remuneration of judges of courts of general jurisdiction and specialised courts, among other things, consists of additional pay for the years served to the State of Lithuania; under Item 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 23 (wording of 9 December 2008) of the Law on State Service, the work remuneration of a state servant, among other things, consists of additional pay, part of which, under Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 25 of this law, is for the length of service to the State of Lithuania.

Under Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the judges of courts of general jurisdiction and specialised courts are paid additional pay for the years served to the State of Lithuania from 11 March 1990 in the positions specified in Paragraphs 1–4 and Items 1–4 of Paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Law on State Service (with the exception of municipal council members who have not served as mayors or deputy mayors). It should be noted that Paragraph 2 (wording of 4 July 2003 with subsequent amendments) of Article 4 of the Law on State Service regulates the application of the Law on State Service with regard to statutory state servants. The years served to the State of Lithuania, for which the indicated judges receive the above-mentioned additional pay, also include the period of time served in the position of a statutory state servant.

As established in Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2008, 22 June 2010, and 9 May 2013) of Article 42 of the Law on State Service, the length of service under this law comprises the number of years served to the State of Lithuania from 11 March 1990 in the position of a state servant, including the positions specified in Paragraphs 3 and 4 and Items 1–4 of Paragraph 5 of Article 4 of the Law on State Service (with the exception of municipal council members who have not served as mayors or deputy mayors). It should be noted that, under Paragraph 6 of Article 2 of the Law on State Service, a statutory state servant is, inter alia, such a state servant whose service is regulated by a statute approved by means of a law. Thus, the length of service to the State of Lithuania, for which a state servant receives the above-mentioned additional pay, also includes the period of time served in the position of a statutory state servant.

It should be noted that, both under Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the Law on the Remuneration of Judges and under Paragraph 2 of Article 25 of the Law on State Service, additional pay for the years served to the state (for the length of service) is 3 per cent of the positional salary for each three years of service to the State of Lithuania; however, the amount of additional pay must not exceed 30 per cent of the positional salary.

8.3. Summing up the above-mentioned legal regulation laid down in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, and the Law on State Service, it should be held that, this legal regulation creates the preconditions for such legal situations where a person who is paid the state pension of officials and servicemen and holds the office of a judge or state servant, except the positions of a state servant for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid, receives both the state pension of officials and servicemen (part thereof) and additional pay for the years served (length of service) to the State of Lithuania (constituent part of remuneration) for the same years served (length of service) to the State of Lithuania.

9. It has been mentioned that the petitioner also impugns the constitutionality of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits.

9.1. On 9 December 2009, the Seimas adopted the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, which came into force on 1 January 2010 (with the exception of Article 16 thereof).

In its rulings of 6 February 2012, 5 March 2013, and 20 November 2013, adopted in the constitutional justice cases in which the compliance, inter alia, of the provisions of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits with the Constitution was investigated, the Constitutional Court noted that the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, as held in its Preamble, had been adopted while seeking to limit the growth, caused by the economic crisis, in the deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund. In this law, taking account of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state and seeking to protect the groups of socially sensitive persons as much as possible, the legislature laid down such a procedure for the recalculation and payment of social benefits that implied the reduction of the granted social benefits, inter alia, state pensions. It was also noted that the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits had provided that it would apply only on a temporary basis.

9.2. Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, whose compliance with the Constitution to the specified extent is impugned by the petitioner, prescribed:

Persons who receive state pensions, the granting and/or payment of which is not linked to the insured income of the person, the annuities of former sportsmen working in the field of physical education and sports, compensatory benefits paid to the employees of theatres and concert establishments, or relief compensations – which all are recalculated under the procedure established in Article 4 of this Law, and, after the respective benefit is granted, have income from which compulsory state social pension insurance contributions are calculated and paid, or receive social insurance sickness (including benefits paid by the employer on days of sickness leave), maternity, paternity, or maternity (paternity) benefits paid under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, or social insurance sickness benefits for an accident at work or occupational disease paid under the Law on Social Insurance against Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases (hereinafter in this Law the said income and benefits shall be referred to as insured income), with the exception of persons who are covered by compulsory state social pension insurance under Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, shall be paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient determined according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of this Law, by taking into account the amount of the insured income received in the month for which the benefit is paid if the benefit is paid for the preceding month. In cases where the benefit is paid for the month in progress, account is taken of the insured income received in the preceding month.”

Thus, Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits regulated, inter alia, the payment of recalculated state pensions, among other things, the state pensions of officials and servicemen, to persons who had insured income and, after having been granted a pension, were covered by compulsory state social pension insurance (with the exception of persons indicated in Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions). After their state pensions were recalculated under Paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, these persons were paid the part of the pension calculated by applying the coefficient determined according to the formula specified in Annex 2 of the same law.

9.3. Paragraph 1 (wording of 9 December 2009) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was amended by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted by the Seimas on 11 February 2010, and the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending and Supplementing Articles 1, 5, 7, and 8 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, adopted by the Seimas on 26 October 2010. However, the legal regulation established in the paragraph in question did not change insofar as it regulated, inter alia, the payment of recalculated state pensions, among other things, the state pensions of officials and servicemen, to persons who had insured income and, after having been granted a pension, were covered by compulsory state social pension insurance (with the exception of persons indicated in Items 8 and 9 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions).

9.4. Interpreting the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits in the context of the overall legal regulation established in this law, it should be held that, adopted while seeking to limit the growth, caused by the economic crisis, in the deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, this legal regulation established the temporary, inter alia, procedure for the recalculation and payment of state pensions, thus including the state pensions of officials and servicemen, under which these pensions were reduced.

In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits did not regulate the conditions for granting and paying state pensions, including the state pensions of officials and servicemen. As mentioned before, these conditions are regulated under the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, inter alia, under the legal regulation laid down in Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 thereof, and the compliance of this legal regulation with the Constitution is impugned to the specified extent in the constitutional justice case at issue.

Thus, under the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, while seeking to limit the growth, caused by the economic crisis, in the deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, persons who had insured income and were covered by compulsory state social pension insurance (save the prescribed exceptions) were temporarily paid the reduced state pensions of officials and servicemen, which had been granted and paid under the above-mentioned provisions of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen.

10. It should be mentioned that, in the ruling of 6 February 2012, adopted in the constitutional justice case in which, as mentioned before, the Constitutional Court examined, inter alia, the constitutionality of the provisions of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of this law, insofar as it provided for the payment of reduced state pensions to their recipients who, after having been granted the pension, had income from which compulsory state social pension insurance contributions were calculated and paid, was found to have been in conflict with the provision “Everyone may freely choose a job or business” of Paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution.

It should be noted that, in the said constitutional justice case, the constitutionality of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was investigated from the aspect that, for persons who were employed and were covered by compulsory state social pension insurance, for the sole reason that they were employed, state pensions were reduced to a greater extent than for those recipients of state pensions who were not employed.

11. It should be mentioned that, on 30 June 2012, the Seimas adopted the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Declaring Articles 5 and 8 and Annex 2 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits as No Longer Valid, Save the Prescribed Exception; this law came into force on 1 September 2012 and, by Article 1 thereof, Article 5 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was declared as no longer valid.

II

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue, the petitioner impugns the legal regulation laid down in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen and the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.

2. 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.”

2.1. The Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion that Article 52 of the Constitution lays down the foundations for pension provision and social assistance; under the Constitution, a law may also provide for other pensions in addition to those expressis verbis specified in Article 52 of the Constitution; pensions that are not directly specified in Article 52 of the Constitution are currently established, among other things, in the Law on State Pensions; and a law may, inter alia, provide for pensions for certain service to the State of Lithuania.

2.2. State pensions, which are not directly named in Article 52 of the Constitution, differ as to their nature and character from state social insurance pensions: state pensions are granted to persons in recognition of service or merit to the State of Lithuania, or as compensation to victims specified in the law, and are paid from the state budget (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003, 29 June 2010, 6 February 2012, 6 May 2015, and 26 November 2015); the receipt of these pensions is linked not to the social insurance pension contributions of an established amount, but with the particular status of a certain person (his/her service, merit, or other circumstances upon which the granting of a state pension depends); the discretion of the legislature as to the granting of state pensions is broader than in regulating other pensions; the conditions for granting state pensions may be very varied and may depend, inter alia, on the particularities of specific service and the economic capabilities of the state (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008, 6 February 2012, 6 May 2015, and 26 November 2015); having regard to the Constitution, the legislature may also provide for certain cases where the state pension is not granted to a person (under the conditions laid down by the laws) (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 October 2007, 29 June 2010, and 26 November 2015); by means of a law and having regard to the Constitution, the legislature may also establish cases where a granted state pension is no longer paid.

The Constitutional Court emphasised on more than one occasion that, when determining the persons who are granted and paid state pensions, the grounds and conditions for granting and paying state pensions, as well as the sizes of these pensions, the legislature is obliged to have regard to the constitutional imperative of social harmony and the principles of justice, reasonableness, and proportionality; the granting and payment of state pensions should not become a privilege; if, when establishing, by means of a law, the grounds for this pension provision, the persons who are granted and paid state pensions, the conditions for granting and paying these pensions, as well as their sizes, the legislature did not have regard to the Constitution (for example, if the legislature granted state pensions to persons who may not be granted such pensions, or set unreasonably large sizes of these pensions, or established unreasonable conditions for granting and paying these pensions), then such pension provision could not be defended under the Constitution (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 3 December 2003, 22 October 2007, 3 July 2014, and 26 November 2015).

2.3. The 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 pension of officials and servicemen, which is stablished in the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, is, inter alia, to compensate for 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, 22 February 2013, and 6 May 2015); after such a state pension is established in a law, the granting and receipt of this pension must specifically be linked to service performed by a person to the State of Lithuania (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 22 February 2013 and 6 May 2015).

The particularities 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 conditions for granting these pensions (inter alia, the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 24 December 2008, 29 June 2010, 6 February 2012, 6 May 2015, and 26 November 2015).

When providing for the state pension of officials and servicemen for service, it is inadmissible to establish any such legal regulation according to which a person would be able to retire unreasonably early, or an unreasonably short length of service or work would be required in order to receive such a pension, or the amount of the remuneration of an official or a serviceman would not be taken into consideration in determining the size of the granted pension, or the principles of justice, reasonableness, and proportionality would otherwise be violated; if no regard is paid to the particularities of the service of officials and servicemen, the nature of particular duties, or other important circumstances, the granting and payment of such a pension would become a privilege and such pension provision could not be guaranteed under the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 4 July 2003, 13 December 2004, 22 October 2007, and 24 December 2008).

The legislature also has the powers to establish such a legal regulation under which the state pension of officials and servicemen is not granted to persons who have not left service, or such a pension is not paid to persons who, having left service and having been granted and paid the state pension of officials and servicemen, re-enter service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 4 July 2003).

2.4. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue, it should be noted that, in view of the fact that, under Article 52 of the Constitution, the legislature has broader discretion in establishing state pensions than in regulating other pensions, which are directly named in this article of the Constitution, the legislature, having regard to the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the constitutional imperative of social harmony and the principle of responsible governance, may provide for such social guarantees of service in statutory state institutions, inter alia, state pensions, that would increase the attractiveness of service in these institutions and would encourage persons who meet the requirements established by law to enter this service.

It should also be noted that, regulating the conditions for granting and paying a state pension to persons who have chosen to perform service in statutory state institutions, seeking to ensure the effective activity of the entire state service and other institutions financed from state or municipal budgetary funds, inter alia, seeking to encourage highly qualified individuals with specialist knowledge and considerable experience of work in statutory state institutions to enter service in the said institutions, paying regard to the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the above-mentioned constitutional imperative of social harmony and the principle of responsible governance, and taking into account the economic capabilities of the state, the legislature may also establish such a legal regulation under which state pensions that are granted to persons for their service in statutory state institutions are also granted and paid in those cases where these persons, after they leave their service in the said institutions, are employed in other work paid from the funds of the state or municipal budget. In itself, established at the discretion of the legislature, such granting and payment of state pensions for service in statutory state institutions should not be considered a privilege under the Constitution.

III

On the compliance of Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen with the Constitution

1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests an investigation into whether Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance were violated, inter alia, by the following:

the provision “The state pension of officials and servicemen shall be granted and paid to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this Law after they leave service if [...] they have served for 20 years or more in the systems of the interior [...]” of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as it did not prohibit judges from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen;

Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as it did not prohibit state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen;

Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen.

2. According to the petitioner, the legislature has the constitutional duty to establish such a legal regulation under which state pensions may not be granted and, if they have been granted, may not be paid both to persons who have not left service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid and to persons who have not left state (public) service as such, which is maintained from the state and municipal budgets and, under the Constitution, is integral from the perspective of its constitutional purpose and must ensure that the public interest is met; among other things, state pensions may not be granted and, if they have been granted, may not be paid to judges and state servants; otherwise this would be a privilege.

It should be noted that the petitioner questions the compliance of the impugned legal regulation with the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance based on the statements and arguments that are inseparable from its arguments regarding the compliance of the same legal regulation with Article 52 of the Constitution.

3. It has been mentioned that, under the legal regulation laid down in Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, the state pension of officials and servicemen could be granted and paid to officials and servicemen only if they had left service, i.e. had ceased holding the office of an official or a serviceman, and had met other conditions prescribed by the law (had served in the system of the interior or other specified systems (had performed particular work in the customs system) or institutions for 20 years or more, or 5 years or more but less than 20 years and had reached the age established in the laws or statutes for transfer to the reserve (the age for the old-age pension where the age for transfer to the reserve was not established)); the said pension was not paid to officials and servicemen if they satisfied the conditions established in the law for granting the state pension of officials and servicemen but had not left service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen was granted or had re-entered this service.

It has also been mentioned that neither the impugned provisions of Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen nor any other provisions of this law prescribed that the state pension of officials and servicemen was not granted and/or paid to officials and servicemen entitled to it if they, having left service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen was granted and paid, were employed in other work, inter alia, held the office of a judge or state servant.

4. In assessing whether the legal regulation laid down in Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen is in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance, it should be noted that, as mentioned before, under the Constitution:

the particularities 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 the particular conditions for granting the state pensions of officials and servicemen;

the discretion of the legislature as to the granting of state pensions is broader than in regulating other pensions; the conditions for granting state pensions may be very varied and may depend, inter alia, on the particularities of specific service and the economic capabilities of the state;

the legislature also has the powers to establish such a legal regulation under which the state pension of officials and servicemen is not granted to persons who have not left service, or such a pension is not paid to persons who, having left service and having been granted and paid the state pension of officials and servicemen, re-enter service for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid;

regulating the conditions for granting and paying a state pension to persons who have chosen to perform service in statutory state institutions, seeking to ensure the effective activity of the entire state service and other institutions financed from state or municipal budgetary funds, inter alia, seeking to encourage highly qualified individuals with specialist knowledge and considerable experience of work in statutory state institutions to enter service in the said institutions, paying regard to the norms and principles of the Constitution, inter alia, the above-mentioned constitutional imperative of social harmony and the principle of responsible governance, and taking into account the economic capabilities of the state, the legislature may also establish such a legal regulation under which state pensions that are granted to persons for their service in statutory state institutions are also granted and paid in those cases where these persons, after they leave their service in the said institutions, are employed in other work paid from the funds of the state or municipal budget. In itself, such granting and payment of state pensions for service in statutory state institutions should not be considered a privilege under the Constitution.

5. Thus, it should be held that, in view of the fact that, under the Constitution, inter alia, Article 52 thereof, the legislature has broad discretion in regulating the conditions for granting and paying state pensions, among other things, the state pension of officials and servicemen, differently than it is maintained by the petitioner, the Constitution does not give rise to the duty of the legislature to establish, in the impugned provisions of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, such a legal regulation under which the state pension of officials and servicemen is not granted and, where granted, not paid to persons who, having left service for which this pension is granted and paid, are employed in other work paid from the funds of the state or municipal budget, including persons who hold the office of a judge or state servant. The mere fact that the state pension of officials and servicemen, whose purpose, as mentioned before, is, inter alia, to compensate for the difficult, responsible, and often risk-involving and dangerous service performed by the person to the state, and the remuneration of a judge or state servant paid for work to the same person and at the same time are paid from the funds of the state or municipal budget does not constitute the ground for stating that granting and paying the said pension is a privilege in cases where it is granted and paid to persons who, after leaving service for which this pension is granted and paid, hold, among other things, the office of a judge or state servant.

Consequently, there are no grounds for stating that the legal regulation laid down in Item 1 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as it did not prohibit judges from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, in Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the same law, insofar as it did not prohibit state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, and in Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the same law, insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, disregarded the requirements stemming from Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible government.

6. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that the provision “The state pension of officials and servicemen shall be granted and paid to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this Law after they leave service if […] they have served for 20 years or more in the systems of the interior […]” of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as it did not prohibit judges from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 of the same law, insofar as it did not prohibit state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, as well as Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 of the same law, insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, were not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.

7. It should be noted at the same time that, as mentioned before, the legal regulation laid down in the Law on the Remuneration of Judges, the Law on State Service, and the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen creates the preconditions for such legal situations where a person who is paid the state pension of officials and servicemen and holds the office of a judge or state servant, except the positions of a state servant for which the state pension of officials and servicemen is granted and paid, receives for the same years served (length of service) to the State of Lithuania both the state pension of officials and servicemen (part thereof) and additional pay (constituent part of remuneration) for the years served (length of service) to the State of Lithuania. Such a legal regulation according to which both the said state pension and additional pay (constituent part of remuneration) are paid for the same years served is not flawless; it should be subject to adjustment.

IV

On the compliance of Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits with the Constitution

1. It has been mentioned that the petitioner requests an investigation into whether, inter alia, Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, was in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.

2. It should be noted that the doubts of the petitioner regarding the constitutionality of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits are substantiated by the same arguments as regarding the constitutionality of the impugned provisions of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen.

3. As mentioned before, the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits was adopted in order to limit the growth, caused by the economic crisis, in the deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund; to achieve this objective, Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of this law established the temporary procedure for the recalculation and payment, inter alia, of state pensions, under which these pensions, including the state pensions of officials and servicemen, were reduced.

It has also been mentioned that Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits did not regulate the conditions for granting and paying state pensions, inter alia, the state pensions of officials and servicemen; these conditions were regulated by the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, inter alia, by Items 1 and 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007) of Article 3 and Paragraph 1 (wording of 19 May 2005) of Article 11 thereof, which laid down the legal regulation that, as held in this ruling of the Constitutional Court, was not in conflict with the Constitution to the extent it is impugned by the petitioner.

Thus, the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits is different in principle; it does not regulate the relations whose legal regulation is impugned by the petitioner to the specified extent; nor is it designed to regulate such relations. Consequently, there is no matter for investigation in this part of the case.

4. Paragraph 2 of Article 80 (regulating refusals by the Constitutional Court to consider inquiries) of the Law on the Constitutional Court provides that, if a matter under consideration ceases to exist in the course of the consideration of an inquiry, the Constitutional Court dismisses the instituted proceedings on these grounds. As the Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion, this provision of the Law on the Constitutional Court is also applicable mutatis mutandis to the consideration of petitions requesting an investigation into the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution (or another higher-ranking legal act) and to the adoption of respective decisions.

Under Paragraph 3 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court, if the grounds for a refusal to consider a petition are established after the commencement of the consideration of the case at the hearing of the Constitutional Court, a decision to dismiss the case is adopted.

5. In the light of the foregoing arguments, part of this constitutional justice case subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, 11 February 2010, and 26 October 2010) of Article 5 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, was in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance, should be dismissed.

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

ruling:

1. To recognise that the provision “The state pension of officials and servicemen shall be granted and paid to the officials and servicemen specified in Article 1 of this Law after they leave service if […] they have served for 20 years or more in the systems of the interior […]” of Item 1 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No 8-314) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as it did not prohibit judges from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. To recognise that Item 5 of Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2007, No 8-314) of Article 3 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, insofar as it did not prohibit state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

3. To recognise that Paragraph 1 of Article 11 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen (wording of 19 May 2005; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2005, No 71-2558), insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, was not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. To dismiss part of the case subsequent to the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 1 (wordings of 9 December 2009, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No 152-6820; 11 February 2010, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No 23-1070; and 26 October 2010, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2010, No 132-6717) of Article 5 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Benefits, insofar as it did not prohibit judges and state servants from receiving the state pension of officials and servicemen, was in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.

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