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On the reduction of awarded maternity (paternity) benefits and payments

Case No. 73/2010-76/2010-81/2010-88/2010-89/2010-90/2010-95/2010-96/2010-97/2010-98/2010-99/2010-110/2010-111/2010-112/2010-113/2010-115/2010-117/2010-118/2010-120/2010-121/2010-122/2010-127/2010-130/2010-139/2010-141/2010-41/2011

 

 

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

RULING

ON THE COMPLIANCE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S PROVISIONAL LAW ON THE RECALCULATION AND PAYMENT OF SOCIAL PAYMENTS REGULATING THE RECALCULATION OF THE AWARDED MATERNITY (PATERNITY) SOCIAL INSURANCE BENEFITS AND THE MATERNITY (PATERNITY) PAYMENTS AWARDED TO STATUTORY STATE SERVANTS—OFFICIALS OF THE INTERNAL SERVICE SYSTEM, WHICH CREATED PRECONDITIONS FOR REDUCING THE SAID BENEFITS AND PAYMENTS, AS WELL AS THE COMPLIANCE OF THE PROVISIONS OF OTHER LEGAL ACTS RELATED TO THIS REGULATION, WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

5 March 2013

Vilnius

 

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

with the secretary—Daiva Pitrėnaitė,

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

the representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, a party concerned, who were Alfreda Šatrauskienė, the Deputy Director of the Department of Social Insurance and Pensions of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, and Marija Paskočinienė, the Head of the Division of Benefits and Control over Incapacity to Work of the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour,

pursuant to Articles 102 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and Article 1 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, on 6 February 2013, at the Court’s public hearing, considered constitutional justice case No. 73/2010-76/2010-81/2010-88/2010-89/2010-90/2010-95/2010-96/2010-97/2010-98/2010-99/2010-110/2010-111/2010-112/2010-113/2010-115/2010-117/2010-118/2010-120/2010-121/2010-122/2010-127/2010-130/2010-139/2010-141/2010-41/2011 subsequent to:

1) the petitions of the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-98/2010) and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-157/2010), the petitioners, requesting to investigate whether:

the provision “[d]uring the period of the validity of this Law the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, when applied in calculating <...> as from 1 July 2010—social insurance benefits of maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity), may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year” of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of this law, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

the provision “[t]he provisions of this Law shall, as from 1 July 2010, apply to the payments provided for in Paragraph 4 of this Article and the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded under the provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance valid until 30 June 2010” of Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 10 of this law, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, are not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

2) the petition (No. 1B-118/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

– the provision “[d]uring the period of the validity of this Law the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, when applied in calculating <...> as from 1 July 2010—social insurance benefits of maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity), may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year” of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of this law, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

the provision “[t]he provisions of this Law shall, as from 1 July 2010, apply to the payments provided for in Paragraph 4 of this Article and the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded under the provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance valid until 30 June 2010” of Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of this law, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, are not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

3) the petition (No. 1B-94/2010) of the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments are not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, are not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

4) the petition (No. 1B-151/2010) of the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments are not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

– Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments are not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, are not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

Items 1.1 and 2.2 of the Resolution (No. 1771) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 December 2009 are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

5) the petition (No. 1B-113/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 and Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and insofar as they prescribe that the already awarded maternity (paternity) benefits must be reduced twice for the persons who have the right to receive that benefit of the maximum amount established in Paragraph 5 of Article 6 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, although, for the persons receiving the same payment of a lower amount, the said benefit is, under Paragraph 2 or Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, reduced only once—with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons;

6) the petitions (Nos. 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 and Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

7) the petitions (Nos. 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 and Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

8) the petition (No. 1B-134/2010) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 and Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law;

9) the petition (No. 1B-51/2011) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) payments payable to statutory state servants (officials) during child-care leave, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons.

By the Constitutional Court’s decision of 23 January 2013, the aforesaid petitions were joined into one case.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

I

1. The Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-98/2010), the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-94/2010, 1B-151/2010), and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-113/2010, 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-134/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-157/2010), the petitioners, were considering the administrative cases in which disputes had arisen regarding the recalculation (reduction) of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-51/2011), a petitioner, was also considering an administrative case in which a dispute had arisen regarding the recalculation (reduction) of the maternity (paternity) social insurance payment awarded to a statutory state servant—an official of the internal service system.

2. The petitioners’ petitions (Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-94/2010, 1B-98/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-113/2010, 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-134/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-151/2010, 1B-157/2010) requesting to investigate the compliance of the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 and Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (hereinafter also referred to as the Provisional Law), as well as the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity (hereinafter also referred to as the Regulations), with the Constitution are substantiated by the following arguments.

2.1. According to the petitioners, the right to maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits arises inter alia from Article 52 of the Constitution.

The petitioners invoke the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine according to which the right to demand that pensionary maintenance payments, which are established in the Constitution and laws not in conflict with the Constitution, be paid stems from Article 52 of the Constitution, while the property aspects of that right are defended under Article 23 of the Constitution; persons who have been awarded and paid a pension established by the Constitution or a law have, under Article 23 of the Constitution, the right to demand that the payments of that pension be paid further to them in the amounts awarded and paid previously; even in the cases when, due to special circumstances (economic crisis, etc.), a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state, one must heed, according to Article 23 of the Constitution, the principle of the protection of an acquired right.

In the petitioners’ opinion, the said provisions of the official constitutional doctrine equally apply to social insurance benefits, the payment of which is the duty of the state stemming from Article 52 of the Constitution. Thus, according to the petitioners, the right to the awarded and paid maternity, paternity, or maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits is regarded as their recipients’ right to ownership and is defended under Article 23 of the Constitution. Consequently, the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of the impugned legal regulation established in Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law and Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations with Articles 23 and 52 of the Constitution.

2.2. In the petitioners’ opinion, after being awarded a benefit, a recipient of the benefit acquires a legitimate expectation that the benefit of an established amount will be paid during the entire period of due payment. The petitioners invoke the provision of the official constitutional doctrine whereby the requirements arising from the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights, justice, proportionality, the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, legal security, and social solidarity, as well as from other constitutional imperatives, must be also heeded when there is an extreme situation in the state (upon the occurrence of an economic crisis, etc.), and they question whether the impugned legal regulation does not violate the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the elements of which include the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security.

2.3. The petitioners point out that the right to maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits also arises from Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution, wherein it is consolidated that family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood are under the protection and care of the state.

In the petitions (Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-94/2010, 1B-98/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-151/2010) it is noted that the impugned legal regulation violates the principle of the protection of family, motherhood, and fatherhood, which is enshrined in the Constitution, since the regulation in question leads to legal uncertainty and the indeterminacy of granted rights, therefore, it negatively affects such socially significant and protectable values as family, motherhood, and fatherhood.

In addition, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-113/2010, 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010, 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010, 1B-134/2010), a petitioner, points out that the right to the aforementioned benefits also stems from Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution, which consolidates that the state takes care of families raising and bringing up children at home and renders support to them according to the procedure established by law.

2.4. In the petitioners’ opinion (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-98/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010), the impugned legal regulation, by establishing within groups of recipients of certain social payments different proportions for reducing these payments, i.e. by reducing higher payments received prior to the occurrence of a difficult economic and financial situation by a greater percentage share than the corresponding lower payments among members of the same social group, violates the constitutional principle of proportionality.

The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner (petition No. 1B-113/2010), points out that the impugned legal regulation also violates the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons, since for the persons receiving maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits of a maximum amount, these benefits were reduced twice, whereas for the persons receiving maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits of a lower amount, these benefits were reduced only once; in this way, one group of the persons receiving the said benefits was singled out and the financial burden of losses was distributed in a disproportionate manner.

2.5. The petitioners note that the legislator, groundlessly differentiating separate groups to whom social support was necessary, provided, in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, for the compensation for only state social insurance pensions of old age and of lost capacity to work and thereby violated the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and the equality of rights of persons.

The petitioners (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-98/2010 1B-99/2010 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010) also maintain that the society’s inability to adapt to the fact that their income had been reduced by the Provisional Law, together with the negative impact of that law resulting in the distortion of the system of social guarantees, means that the system of social guarantees had been reorganised and that certain social guarantees had been restructured and their extent had been reduced. The petitioners refer to the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine indicating that, if in the course of reorganising the system of social guarantees or the structure of individual social guarantees the extent of social guarantees is reduced, let alone certain social guarantees disappear, a mechanism of just compensation for incurred losses should be provided for with respect to the individuals to whom those social guarantees were reasonably established; even in those cases when, due to special circumstances (economic crisis, etc.), there occurs a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, one must, while following Article 23 of the Constitution, heed the principle of the protection of an acquired right. Thus, in the petitioners’ opinion, the legislator was under the obligation to provide for the mechanism of compensation for maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits as the social insurance payments protected under Article 23 of the Constitution.

3. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner (petition No. 1B-51/2011), which was considering the case in which, as mentioned before, the dispute had arisen regarding the recalculation (reduction) of the maternity (paternity) payment awarded to a statutory state servant—an official of the internal service system, substantiates its request to investigate the compliance of the provisions of Article 10 and Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution by the following arguments.

According to the petitioner, the right of statutory state servants (officials) to payments during the period of child-care leave, as well as the right to social insurance payments, arises from the same provisions of the Constitution. Therefore, the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of the impugned legal regulation, established in Article 10 of the Provisional Law, with Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution. The petitioner also has doubts as regards the compliance of the said legal regulation with the principle of the inviolability of property, which is consolidated in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23 of the Constitution, since the legal regulation in question violates the right of statutory state servants (officials) to receive the payments awarded to them, and, in this way, it groundlessly limits the person’s constitutional right to ownership. The petitioner points out that the impugned legal regulation violates the legitimate expectations of persons raising children that the state will fulfil its assumed commitments and will ensure an appropriate level of income for the families that raise children and reasonably expect that there will be an appropriate level of income during the entire period of child-care leave; thus, the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of the provisions of Article 10 of the Provisional Law with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the elements of which include the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security.

The petitioner also doubts as regards the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons, since this paragraph does not provide for any compensation for the payments under discussion with respect to statutory state servants (officials). The petitioner points out that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law provides that the Government prepares and approves the description of the procedure for compensation for the reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work. According to the petitioner, maternity (paternity) payments are, by their essence and nature, very close to pensions of lost capacity to work, as, in both cases, these payments are awarded for a fixed time period until the persons concerned are able to return to the labour market or state service. Therefore, the legislator, when providing for the compensation for the reduced social payments, should not make any difference among them.

4. The Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner (petition No. 1B-151/2010), doubts inter alia as regards the compliance of Items 1.1 and 2.2 of the Government Resolution (No. 1771) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 December 2009 (hereinafter also referred to as the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009) with the Constitution. The petitioner notes that, through Item 1.1 of the said Government resolution, the Government approved the amount (LTL 1,170) of the insured income of the year 2010, which was designated to implement the impugned provisions of the Provisional Law, under which the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits were recalculated; therefore, the said item is in conflict with the Constitution. The petitioner also notes that, through Item 2.2 of the Resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the Government singled out a group of persons receiving state social insurance pensions from other groups of receivers of social insurance payments, inter alia receivers of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, and did not reduce the amount of insured income for that group; thereby, it violated the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons.

II

In the course of the preparation of the case for the Constitutional Court hearing written explanations were received from the representative of the Seimas, a party concerned, who was Arvydas Vidžiūnas, a Member of the Seimas, as well as from the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, who were Alfreda Šatrauskienė, the Deputy Director of the Department of Social Insurance and Pensions of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and Marija Paskočinienė, the Head of the Division of Benefits and Control over Incapacity to Work of the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, wherein it is maintained that the impugned legal regulation is not in conflict with the Constitution.

1. The position of the Member of the Seimas A. Vidžiūnas, the representative of the Seimas, a party concerned, is substantiated by the following arguments.

Persons receiving payments under the valid legal acts that are not in conflict with the Constitution have the right to demand that the state fulfil the assumed commitments to pay payments of an established amount. However, while taking account of the situation existing in the state, it is necessary to establish such legal regulation whereby other constitutional values would be protected as well. The Provisional Law was adopted by taking account of the predicted growth in the deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund. Through that law, it was sought, during the period of economic crisis, to ensure the protection of the vitally important interests of recipients of payments, so that the payments awarded to them would be paid in due time, and to partly balance the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund.

The representative of the party concerned notes that, through the Provisional Law, the legislator neither reorganised the system of social guarantees, nor changed, by means of the measures established in that law, any structure of social guarantees, but that the aforesaid measures were designed to be applied only temporarily. The amounts of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments were reduced during the period of the state’s economic hardship, when certain economic restrictions were inevitable. In addition, by following the requirements arising from the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights, proportionality, and social solidarity, the law provided for the recalculation of all social payments payable from the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund.

Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law established an obligation for the Government to prepare and approve the procedure for compensating only state social insurance pensions of old age and of lost capacity to work, i.e. to establish, first of all, the mechanism of compensation for the payments paid to the most sensitive group of participants of the social security system. Under the Constitution, the legislator is not allowed to create any such legal situation where a law or other legal act the implementation of which requires funds is passed, while the necessary funds are not allocated, or the allocation of them is not sufficient; legal acts may not require the impossible. When the impugned legal regulation was being enacted, an account was taken of the economic and social situation of the state. If such compensation of the reduced payments that could not be implemented were established, preconditions would be created for violating the concerned persons’ legitimate expectations, and an even more difficult economic situation could be caused in the state, while the raising of the funds necessary for compensation would also become a burden to those persons to whom payments were already reduced.

2. The position of the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, who were A. Šatrauskienė, the Deputy Director of the Social Insurance and Pensions Department of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and M. Paskočinienė, the Head of the Division of Benefits and Control over Incapacity to Work of the State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, is substantiated by the following arguments.

The representatives of the party concerned note that the reduction of maternity (paternity) benefits established in the Provisional Law may not be viewed as the reorganisation of the system of social guarantees.

Through the reduction of maternity (paternity) benefits, it was sought to control the growing deficit of public finances, to limit the growth of the loan, and thereby to ensure, while heeding the constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security, that state social insurance payments would be paid in due time. Taking account of the constitutional principles of proportionality and social solidarity, the legislator established such a mechanism for reducing maternity (paternity) benefits under which the persons receiving higher payments had to contribute to the elimination of consequences of economic hardship to a greater extent, while maternity (paternity) benefits were not reduced for groups of the socially most sensitive persons, i.e. persons receiving maternity (paternity) benefits not exceeding the marginal amount (LTL 800).

Since the entry into force of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance on 1 January 2001, maternity (paternity) benefits had been gradually increasing, and the duration of their payment had been extended. The representatives of the party concerned point out that the legal regulation in question needed to be amended not only due to the country’s increasingly deteriorating economic situation, which influenced the collecting of state social insurance contributions, but also due to the inadequacy of the paid maternity (paternity) benefits to the then sickness and maternity social insurance contributions. If the decision to reduce social payments to namely such an extent had not been adopted, in the circumstances where social insurance contributions, necessary for paying payments to a constantly growing number of their receivers, were not collected, and where the State Social Insurance Fund Board, as well as the state itself, continually borrowed additional funds to fulfil social commitments and paid interest for those funds, a situation would have occurred where the state would not have been altogether able to carry out the duties assigned to it in Articles 39 and 52 of the Constitution.

The representatives of the party concerned agree that the right to maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) benefits arises from Article 52 and Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution. At the same time, they indicate in their explanations that Article 39 of the Constitution directly consolidates the state’s duty to ensure the possibility for working mothers to make use of paid pregnancy and childbirth leave; the said leave is provided for in Article 179 of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania and Articles 16 and 17 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance. After being consolidated in Article 39 of the Constitution, the state’s duty to take care of families that raise and bring up children at home, as well as to render them support according to the procedure established by law, is not linked to participation in the social insurance system. Thus, the said constitutional provision may not be construed only as the state’s obligations assumed through the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance.

In the opinion of the representatives of the party concerned, the awarded maternity (paternity) benefit is not property, and it is not protected under Article 23 of the Constitution. The right to the maternity (paternity) benefit lacks absoluteness—a feature of the ownership right. The said benefit becomes property after, in an appropriate month, it is transferred to its recipient’s personal account in a credit establishment, as only then the benefit recipient acquires the right to that payment as the owner; in addition, maternity (paternity) benefits, differently from other property rights, are not inherited and may not be transferred to third persons.

While adopting, on 9 December 2009, the Provisional Law, which came into force on 1 January 2010, the Seimas established that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 9, as well as Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 10 of that law, applied only as from 1 July 2010. Thus, the legislator, when providing, ahead of time, for the change in the amount of maternity (paternity) benefits, secured the legitimate expectations of persons receiving the said benefits and provided them with an opportunity to adapt to the future changes.

The constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons is important because of the fact that all members of the public had to adapt to the consequences of the economic crisis; if the benefit recipient had not taken child-care leave, his work remuneration, presumably, would likewise have been reduced. Thus, providing for the compensation for maternity (paternity) benefits would have led to the situation where one would have protected the interest of exclusively one social group, which receives short-term payments; such a situation would not be in line with the principles of reasonableness and justice. The representatives of the party concerned emphasise that there is an essential difference between maternity (paternity) benefits and pensions: the maternity (paternity) benefit is a payment of a short-term nature (paid until a child reaches the age of two years), by means of which it is aimed to compensate for the lost income, whereas pensions are payments of a long-term nature, by means of which it is aimed not only to compensate for the lost income as a result of one’s old age, but also to reward for long-time participation in the social insurance system.

III

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

2. A. Šatrauskienė and M. Paskočinienė, the representatives of the Government, a party concerned, virtually reiterated the arguments set forth in their written explanations and answered the questions of the justices of the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

I

1. The administrative cases considered by the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-98/2010), the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-94/2010, 1B-151/2010), and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-113/2010, 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-134/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-157/2010), the petitioners, in which rulings were adopted to apply to the Constitutional Court, concerned the disputes regarding the recalculation (reduction) of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, whereas an administrative case considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-51/2011), a petitioner, in which a ruling was adopted to apply to the Constitutional Court, concerned the dispute regarding the recalculation (reduction) of the maternity (paternity) social insurance payment awarded to a statutory state servant—an official of the internal service system.

1.1. Although the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-98/2010) and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-157/2010), petitioners, request investigation into whether inter alia the provision “[d]uring the period of the validity of this Law the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, when applied in calculating <...> as from 1 July 2010—social insurance benefits of maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity), may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year” of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, as well as Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of this law, is not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-94/2010, 1B-151/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Article 9 (Paragraphs 1 and 2 thereof) of the Provisional Law is not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioners it is clear that the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Although the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-98/2010) and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-157/2010), petitioners, request investigation into whether inter alia the provision “[t]he provisions of this Law shall, as from 1 July 2010, apply to the payments provided for in Paragraph 4 of this Article and the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded under the provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance valid until 30 June 2010” of Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, as well as Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 10 of this law, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-118/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia the provision “[t]he provisions of this Law shall, as from 1 July 2010, apply to the payments provided for in Paragraph 4 of this Article and the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded under the provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance valid until 30 June 2010” of Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, as well as Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of this law, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-94/2010, 1B-151/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law are not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioners it is clear that the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by these paragraphs, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Article 23 and Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.2. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as they provided for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, were not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010, 1B-134/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as they provided for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, were not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioners it is clear that the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as they provided for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, were not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-134/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as they provided for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, were not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as they provided for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, were not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioners it is clear that the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by these paragraphs, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.3. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-113/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 9 and Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as they provided for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, were not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and insofar as they prescribed that the already awarded maternity (paternity) benefits had to be reduced twice for the persons who have the right to receive these benefits of the maximum amount established in Paragraph 5 of Article 6 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, whereas, for the persons receiving the same benefits of a lower payment, these benefits had to be, under Paragraph 2 or Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, reduced only once—with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons, from the petition and the material of the administrative case considered by the petitioner it is clear that the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as the compliance of Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by these paragraphs, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.4. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-51/2011), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as they provided for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) payments payable to statutory state servants (officials) during the period of child-care leave, were not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, from the petition and the material of the administrative case considered by the petitioner it is clear that the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by these paragraphs, created preconditions for reducing the said payments, with Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

In this context it needs to be noted that Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law prescribed that the provisions of this article applied, as from 1 July 2010, inter alia to the payments provided for in Paragraph 4 thereof; Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 10 of the same law specified the procedure for the recalculation and payment of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits; Paragraph 4 of Article 10 of the same law prescribed that, during the period of the validity of this law, the maternity (paternity) benefits payable inter alia to statutory state servants (officials) during the period of child-care leave were subject to the same payment procedure as applied to maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits.

Consequently, all paragraphs of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, in the aspect impugned by the petitioner as regards the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) benefits payable to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system during the period of child-care leave, are inseparable. Thus, the petitioner’s petition should be treated as a petition requesting to investigate the compliance of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said payments, with Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.5. Although the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-98/2010), the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-94/2010, 1B-151/2010), and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-157/2010), the petitioners, request investigation into whether inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 38 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioners it is clear that the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, with Article 23, Article 29, and Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.6. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-113/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons, from the petition and the material of the administrative case considered by the petitioner it is clear that the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, with Article 29 of the Constitution.

1.7. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010, 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010, 1B-134/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is not in conflict with the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioner it is clear that the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, with Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.8. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-51/2011), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law is not in conflict with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons, from the petition and the material of the administrative case considered by the petitioner it is clear that the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, with Article 29 of the Constitution.

1.9. Although in the petitioners’ petitions requesting to investigate the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) social insurance payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, with the Constitution, one does not refer to Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution, from the petitions it is clear that the petitioners’ doubts as regards the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law (to the specified extent) with the Constitution are also related to the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution, which consolidates that the state takes care of families raising and bringing up children at home and renders support to such families according to the procedure established by law.

Thus, the petitioners’ petitions requesting to investigate the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution should be treated as petitions requesting to investigate the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) social insurance payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, with inter alia Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution.

1.10. Although the Klaipėda Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-98/2010), the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-80/2010, 1B-85/2010, 1B-99/2010, 1B-100/2010, 1B-104/2010, 1B-105/2010, 1B-106/2010, 1B-107/2010, 1B-118/2010, 1B-120/2010, 1B-131/2010, 1B-135/2010, 1B-136/2010, 1B-140/2010, 1B-142/2010, 1B-157/2010), and the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-94/2010, 1B-151/2010), the petitioners, request investigation into whether inter alia Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations are not in conflict with Articles 23, 38, and 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioners it is clear that the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by these items, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.11. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-115/2010, 1B-116/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petitions Nos. 1B-134/2010, 1B-124/2010, 1B-130/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, from the petitions and the material of the administrative cases considered by the petitioners it is clear that the petitioners doubt as regards the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by these items, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

1.12. Although the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-113/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as they provide for the recalculation and reduction of the already awarded maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, are not in conflict with Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 23, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as insofar as they prescribe that the already awarded maternity (paternity) benefits must be reduced twice for the persons who have the right to receive these payments of the maximum amount established in Paragraph 5 of Article 6 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, whereas for the persons receiving such benefits of a lower amount, these benefits must, under Paragraph 2 or Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, be reduced only once—with the constitutional principle of the equality of rights of persons, from the petition and the material of the administrative case considered by the petitioner it is clear that the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by these items, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. Although the Panevėžys Regional Administrative Court (petition No. 1B-151/2010), a petitioner, requests investigation into whether inter alia Items 1.1 and 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 are not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of the equality of rights of persons and a state under the rule of law, from the petition it is clear that the petitioner doubts as regards the compliance of Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, and as regards the compliance of Item 2.2 of the said resolution—with Article 29 of the Constitution.

3. Thus, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court will investigate:

the compliance of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

the compliance of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, and Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by these items, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law;

the compliance of Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as the compliance of Item 2.2 of the said resolution—with Article 29 of the Constitution.

II

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating the compliance of the provisions of the Provisional Law regulating the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, as well as the compliance of the provisions of other legal acts related to the legal regulation in question.

2. On 9 December 2009, the Seimas adopted the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, which came into force on 1 January 2010, with the exception of Article 16 thereof, which came into force on 24 December 2009.

3. It needs to be noted that, in its ruling of 6 February 2012, adopted in the constitutional justice case in which the compliance of inter alia the provisions of the Provisional Law with the Constitution was investigated, the Constitutional Court noted that the Provisional Law, as held in the Preamble thereto, had been adopted while seeking to limit the growth of the deficit of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by an economic crisis; in this law, while taking account of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state and while seeking to protect, as much as possible, groups of socially sensitive persons, the legislator laid down such a procedure for the recalculation and payment of social payments that implied the reduction of the awarded social payments.

4. Paragraph 1 of Article 1 “The Purpose and Application of the Law” of the Provisional Law prescribes: “This Law shall lay down the procedure for the recalculation of social payments: <...> social insurance benefits of <...> maternity (paternity) <...> and payments of maternity (paternity), as well as the procedure for the establishment of a new maximum amount of the compensatory salary for the purposes of calculating social insurance benefits <...>.”

Item 6 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law prescribes that this law applies inter alia to persons who receive maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded and paid under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, whereas Item 8 of the same paragraph specifies that the Provisional Law applies inter alia to persons who receive maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid from the funds of the state budget to statutory state servants (officials) under the special legal acts regulating their professional activities.

Thus, the purpose of the Provisional Law was to lay down inter alia the procedure for the recalculation and payment of the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits as well as the maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid from the funds of the state budget to statutory state servants (officials).

5. Article 15 (wording of 9 December 2009) of the Provisional Law prescribed that this law was valid until 31 December 2011.

Article 15 of the Provisional Law was amended and supplemented inter alia by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, adopted by the Seimas on 2 July 2010, as well as by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, adopted by the Seimas on 20 December 2011.

Article 15 (wording of 2 July 2010) of the Provisional Law prescribed:

“1. This law, save Article 16 thereof, shall come into force on 1 January 2010 and shall be valid until 31 December 2011.

2. The provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of this Law shall not apply as from 1 July 2011 to newly awarded social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget.

3. Social insurance benefits, as well as maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget, as calculated under the provisions of this Law prior to 1 July 2011, shall be paid until the end of the period of their payment.”

Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law prescribed:

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

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

2. The provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of this Law shall not apply as from 1 July 2011 to newly awarded social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget.

3. Social insurance benefits, as well as maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget, as calculated under the provisions of this Law prior to 1 July 2011, shall be paid until the end of the period of their payment.”

Thus, under Article 15 (wordings of 2 July 2010 and 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law, this law was valid until a certain time limit, and, specifically, until 31 December 2011, with respect to inter alia the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid to statutory state servants (officials), however, the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants (officials), as recalculated, respectively, under the impugned provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law, were payable until the end of the period of their payment.

It needs to be noted that, although Article 15 (wording of 20 December 2011) of the Provisional Law was later amended by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Amending Article 15 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, adopted by the Seimas on 20 December 2012, the legal regulation laid down in that article did not change in the indicated aspects of significance in the constitutional justice case at issue.

6. Article 9 “The Establishment of a New Maximum Amount of the Compensatory Salary for Calculating Social Insurance Benefits” of the Provisional Law, which is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, prescribed:

1. During the period of the validity of this Law the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, when applied in calculating social insurance benefits of sickness, professional rehabilitation, accident at work, or occupational disease, and as from 1 July 2010—maternity, paternity, and maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year. <...>

2. Upon the approval of a new amount of the insured income of the respective year, all social insurance benefits awarded and paid prior to that date shall, for the period starting from the beginning of the application of the new amount of insured income, be recalculated by applying the said new amount.”

Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law established a new maximum amount of the compensatory salary for calculating social insurance benefits (for the period of the validity of the Provisional Law), which was equal to the sum of 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year and which was applied to maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits as from 1 July 2010, whereas Paragraph 2 of the same article provided that the awarded and paid social insurance benefits, inter alia the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, had to be recalculated by applying a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year.

7. It has been mentioned that the Provisional Law, as indicated in Article 1 thereof, provided inter alia for the procedure for the recalculation of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded and paid under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance.

Thus, the impugned legal regulation, as established in Article 9 of the Provisional Law, should be construed in the context of the provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, whereby the procedure for the recalculation of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, inter alia the maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits, was consolidated.

The Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance prescribed:

– “‘Compensatory salary’ means the sum of the insured person’s insured income based on which sickness and maternity social insurance benefits shall be calculated” (Paragraph 3 (wording of 4 December 2007) of Article 3);

– “The compensatory salary, when applied in calculating benefits, may not exceed the sum equal to five amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year and valid in the month of the acquisition of the right to a respective benefit” (Paragraph 5 (wording of 18 December 2008 of Article 6).

Thus, under the cited provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits were calculated on the basis of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary; at the same time, the amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits was limited up to the sum equal to 5 amounts of the government-approved insured income valid in the month of the acquisition of the right to the benefit. In those cases where the compensatory salary of a recipient of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit exceeded the maximum amount of the compensatory salary fixed by the law, such a recipient was awarded and paid the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit calculated on the basis of the maximum amount of the compensatory salary. Consequently, under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, the maximum amount of the compensatory salary and the corresponding maximum possible amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit depended inter alia upon the government-approved amount of the insured income (the sum thereof) of the then current year.

8. Having compared the impugned legal regulation established in Article 9 of the Provisional Law with the one established in the cited provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, it is clear that the legal regulation regulating the procedure for the calculation of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits was, through the impugned Article 9 of the Provisional Law, provisionally changed inter alia in the following way:

the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits calculated and paid under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, by applying the amount of the government-approved insured income valid in the month of the acquisition of the right to the benefit, had, during the period of the validity of the Provisional Law, to be recalculated and paid by applying a new amount of the insured income of the then current year, irrespective of the amount of the insured income valid in the month of the acquisition of the right to the benefit;

the maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied inter alia in calculating maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, as established in the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, was, as from 1 July 2010, temporarily reduced (for the period of the validity of the Provisional Law), i.e. the compensatory salary was limited up to the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year (instead of the sum equal to 5 such amounts, as established in the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance).

9. In this context one also needs to mention the provisions of legal acts that regulate the procedure for the calculation and approval of an amount of insured income.

Paragraph 7 (wording of 8 June 2006) of Article 3 “The Main Definitions Used in This Law” of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance prescribes: “‘Insured income of the current year’ means income calculated on the basis of the methodology approved by the State Social Insurance Fund Board. The procedure for the calculation and approval of this income shall be established by the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions”.

Paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) prescribes: “The insured income shall, at least once per year and on the recommendation of the State Social Insurance Fund Board, be approved by the Government, who also establishes the beginning of the application of this income. The insured income shall be calculated according to the methodology approved by the State Social Insurance Fund Board, by taking into account the revenue and expenditure of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund of the respective year or of the respective period of the year. <...>”

Thus, Paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005) provides for the duty of the Government to approve, at least once per year and on the recommendation of the State Social Insurance Fund Council, the insured income, which depends upon the revenue and expenditure of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund of the respective year or of the respective period of the year.

10. It needs to be noted that through the Government Resolution (No. 1367) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2009” of 30 December 2008, the amount of the insured income of the year 2009, which was equal to LTL 1,488, was approved.

One also needs to note that, on 23 December 2009, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 1771) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension”, which came into force on 1 January 2010.

Through Item 1.1 of the said resolution, which is also impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, the amount of the insured income of the year 2010, which was equal to LTL 1,170, was approved.

The Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 also prescribes that the insured income of the year 2010, indicated in Item 1.1 of this resolution, is applied in implementing the provisions of the Provisional Law (Item 2.1), as well as that the insured income of the year 2010 is applied as from 1 January 2010 (Item 3.1).

11. Thus, through Item 1.1 of the resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the Government approved a lower amount of insured income, equalling LTL 1,170 (instead of LTL 1,488), which had, as from 1 January 2010, to be applied inter alia in implementing the provisions of the Provisional Law.

It needs to be noted that, by the Government Resolution (No. 210) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2011, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 February 2011, the same amount (equal to LTL 1,170) of insured income was approved.

Consequently, during the period of the validity of the Provisional Law (this law, as mentioned before, was valid with respect to the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits until 31 December 2011) the amount of insured income, as approved by the Government, did not vary.

12. While summing up, one should note that, according to the impugned legal regulation consolidated in Article 9 of the Provisional Law:

as from 1 January 2010, a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year was applied in recalculating those awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits that had already been calculated and paid by applying the amount of insured income valid in the month of the acquisition of the right to the said benefit and approved by the Government while implementing the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance and the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions;

as from 1 July 2010, the amount of all maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits (those awarded prior to the said date as well as those newly awarded after it) was limited up to the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income newly approved by the Government for the then current year, which expressed the maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits (instead of the sum of 5 amounts of the insured income newly approved by the Government for the then current year, which, as from 1 January 2010 until 30 June 2010, was equated with the maximum amount of the compensatory salary by the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance).

13. Article 10 “The Recalculation of Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefits and Payments Paid to Statutory State Servants (Officials) and Servicemen of the National Defence System during the Period of Childcare Leave” of the Provisional Law, which is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, prescribed:

1. The provisions of this article shall, as from 1 July 2010, apply to the payments specified in Paragraph 4 of this Article and the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded under the provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance valid until 30 June 2010. The awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits not exceeding the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit shall be paid in the same amount as has been awarded. The awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits exceeding the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit shall be paid in accordance with the procedure established in Paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article, however, a payable benefit may not be lower than the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit.

2. The maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits payable under the provisions of the Law on the Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance shall be recalculated and paid to the insured persons until the child reaches the age of one year in the amount equal to 90 percent of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, on the basis of which the said benefit was calculated. In those cases where the calculated maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit exceeds the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year, the insured person shall be paid the benefit of the said latter amount.

3. The maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits payable under the provisions of the Law on the Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance shall be recalculated and paid to the insured persons during the period when the child is from one to two years of age in the amount equal to 75 percent of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, on the basis of which the said benefit was calculated. In those cases where the calculated maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit exceeds the sum equal to 75 percent of 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year, the insured person shall be paid the benefit of the said latter amount.

4. During the period of the validity of this Law, the maternity (paternity) payments payable from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials) and servicemen of the national defence system for the period of their childcare leave until the child reaches the age of three years shall be, as from 1 July 2010, paid under the same procedure as applied in paying maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits.”

Thus, the legal regulation laid down in Paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law (“The provisions of this article shall, as from 1 July 2010, apply to the payments specified in Paragraph 4 of this article <...>”), when construed together with Paragraph 4 of the same article, means that, by following the procedure for the recalculation and payment of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was established in Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, inter alia the maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials) were, as from 1 July 2010, recalculated in an analogous way.

Consequently, under the impugned legal regulation laid down in Article 10 of the Provisional Law, those maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded under the provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, as well as inter alia the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants (officials) and paid from the state budget, that exceeded the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, were, as from 1 July 2010, recalculated and paid until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age by applying certain fixed percentage amounts (until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age—90 and 75 percent, respectively, of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary on the basis of which the benefit was calculated); however, the said awarded benefits and payments could not be higher than the sum of 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—until the child reaches the age of one year, and not higher than 75 percent of the sum of 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—during the period when the child is from one to two years of age; whereas where they were higher, they were paid in the amount not exceeding the said latter maximum amounts.

14. The impugned legal regulation laid down in Article 10 of the Provisional Law, in the aspect of the recalculation of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, should be construed in the context of the provisions of the aforementioned Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, whereby the amount of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, as well as the maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating these benefits, was consolidated.

The Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance prescribed that “[t]he amount of the maternity (paternity) benefit as from the end of the pregnancy and childbirth leave until the child reaches the age of one year shall make 100 percent of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, whereas until the child reaches the age of two years—85 percent thereof” (Paragraph 1 (wording of 4 December 2007) of Article 21).

In addition, as mentioned before, the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance also prescribed that “[t]he compensatory salary, when applied in calculating benefits, may not exceed the sum equal to five amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year and valid in the month of the acquisition of the right to a respective benefit” (Paragraph 5 (wording of 18 December 2008) of Article 6).

Thus, under the cited provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, the amount of the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits until the child reaches the age of one year was equal to 100 percent of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, while during the period when the child is from one to two years of age—85 percent of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary; the amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits was limited up to the sum equal to 5 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year.

Having compared the impugned legal regulation established in Article 10 of the Provisional Law with the one established in the cited provisions of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, it is clear that, under Article 10 of the Provisional Law, the legal regulation of the amounts of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits changed as from 1 July 2010 inter alia in the following way:

the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, were reduced from 100 to 90 percent and from 85 to 75 percent, respectively, of the compensatory salary, on the basis of which those benefits were calculated;

the highest possible amount of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits was limited up to the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—until the child reaches the age of one year, and up to 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—during the period when the child is from one to two years of age; the said amounts were established instead of the highest amounts of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit possible under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, which used to be limited up to the sum of 5 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year (expressing the aforementioned maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the benefit)—until the child reaches the age of one year, and up to 85 percent of that maximum amount (the sum expressing it)—during the period when the child is from one to two years of age.

15. It has been mentioned that Item 8 of Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Provisional Law prescribes that this law applies inter alia to persons who receive maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid from the funds of the state budget to statutory state servants (officials) under the special legal acts regulating their professional activities.

Thus, the impugned legal regulation established in Article 10 of the Provisional Law, in the aspect of the recalculation of maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials), should be construed inter alia in the context of the provisions of the Statute of the Internal Service, as approved by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law Approving the Statute of the Internal Service (adopted by the Seimas on 29 April 2003), which regulated the procedure for the calculation, as well as the amounts, of payments paid to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system during the period of childcare leave.

Paragraph 3 (wording of 17 June 2008) of Article 41 of the Statute of the Internal Service prescribed that officials of the internal service system are paid “for each child during the period of childcare leave as from the end of pregnancy and childbirth leave until the child reaches the age of one year—100 percent, whereas until the child reaches the age of two years—85 percent, of their average work remuneration calculated in accordance with the procedure established by the Government”.

Thus, under the Statute of the Internal Service, the amount of payments paid to officials of the internal service system during the period of childcare leave was equal to 100 percent of the officials’ average work remuneration, as calculated in accordance with the procedure established by the Government—until the child reaches the age of one year, and 85 percent of the officials’ average work remuneration, as calculated in accordance with the procedure established by the Government—during the period when the child is from one to two years of age.

In the context of the case at issue it needs to be noted that, by the Statute of the Internal Service, the possible highest amount of the aforesaid payments did not use to be limited.

Having compared the impugned legal regulation established in Article 10 of the Provisional Law with the one established in the Statute of the Internal Service, it is clear that, under Article 10 of the Provisional Law, the legal regulation of the amounts of maternity (paternity) payments paid during the period of childcare leave to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system changed as from 1 July 2010 inter alia in the following way:

the aforesaid awarded maternity (paternity) payments until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age were reduced from 100 to 90 percent and from 85 to 75 percent, respectively, of the officials’ average work remuneration, as calculated in accordance with the procedure established by the Government;

the highest possible amount of the aforementioned maternity (paternity) payments was limited up to the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—until the child reaches the age of one year, and up to 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, although, by the Statute of the Internal Service, it did not use to be limited.

16. In this context it also needs to be noted that, under the legal regulation laid down in Article 10 of the Provisional Law, the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, as well as maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials), not exceeding the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit were not recalculated, whereas the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits exceeding that amount could not, after recalculating them, be reduced more than up to the said marginal amount.

Paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the Provisional Law prescribes: “Marginal amounts of the state pension and the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit shall be approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, by taking into account the revenue and expenditure of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund and the revenue and expenditure of the Republic of Lithuania state budget of the corresponding year or the corresponding period of the year.”

It needs to be noted that, through Item 1.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, which was equal to LTL 800, was approved.

17. While summing up, one should note that, according to the impugned legal regulation consolidated in Article 10 of the Provisional Law, as from 1 July 2010, inter alia all the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits awarded and paid under respective legal acts, as well as the maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, were reduced by 10 percent, except the benefits or payments that did not exceed the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, as approved by the Government (these benefits or payments were not recalculated), and the benefits or payments that after being recalculated became lower than the aforesaid marginal amount (these benefits were reduced by a lesser amount, i.e. not more than up to the said marginal amount); those maternity (paternity) benefits and payments that after being reduced by 10 percent exceeded the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year where they were payable until the child reaches the age of one year, or exceeded 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year where they were payable during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, were additionally reduced so that they would not exceed the said maximum amounts, i.e. would not be higher than the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year when paid until the child reaches the age of one year, whereas when paid during the period when the child is from one to two years of age—would not exceed 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year.

18. Paragraph 4 of Article 16 “Proposals to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania” of the Provisional Law, which, to the specified extent, is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, prescribes: “The Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall, by 1 July 2010, prepare and approve the description of the procedure for compensation for the reduced state social insurance pensions of old-age and of lost capacity to work”.

Thus, by the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, it is proposed that the Government prepare and approve the description of the procedure for compensation for certain reduced state social insurance pensions, but it is not proposed that it prepare and approve inter alia the description of the procedure for compensation for the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials), the amount of which was reduced upon the recalculation.

19. It needs to be mentioned that the compensation for the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and inter alia maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials), the amount of which was reduced upon the recalculation, is provided for neither in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, nor in other articles of this law.

20. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by these items, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with the Constitution.

21. On 25 January 2001, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 86) “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity”, by which it approved the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity.

The Regulations have been amended and/or supplemented on more than one occasion, inter alia by the Government Resolution (No. 1778) “On Amending the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity’ of 25 January 2001” of 23 December 2009 (which came into force on 1 January 2010). The said resolution supplemented the Regulations with Chapter IX “The Provisions on the Implementation of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments”, in which inter alia the impugned Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations are set forth.

22. It needs to be noted that the legal regulation of significance in the constitutional justice case at issue in the aspect under investigation, i.e. insofar as it established the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, was consolidated not throughout the entire Item 73 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, whereas in Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) thereof, which prescribed:

73. During the period of the validity of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (hereinafter also referred to as the Provisional Law) the compensatory salary, when applied in calculating the amounts of <...> maternity (paternity) benefits <...>, may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year: <...>

73.3. <...> The compensatory salary applied in calculating benefits for the persons who acquired the right to <...> maternity (paternity) benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 shall, as from the latter date, be recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law.”

Thus, Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations inter alia prescribed that, as from 1 July 2010, the compensatory salary for the persons who acquired the right to maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 was recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law.

Consequently, Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations was designed to implement Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, under which, as mentioned before, as from 1 July 2010, the amount of all maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits (inter alia those awarded prior to that date) was limited up to the sum of 4 amounts of the insured income newly approved by the Government for the then current year, which expressed the maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits.

23. It also needs to be noted that Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations was subsequently amended by the Government Resolution (No. 1293) “On Amending Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity’ of 25 January 2001” of 8 September 2010 (which came into force on 12 September 2012) and was set forth in the following way:

73.3. <...> The compensatory salary for the persons who acquired the right to <...> the paternity benefit prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 shall, as from the latter date, be recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law.”

After comparing the impugned legal regulation established in Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations with the one established in Item 73.3 (wording of 8 September 2010) thereof, it is clear that the legal regulation in the aspect impugned by the petitioners has changed in substance, i.e. it no longer provides that the compensatory salary for the persons who acquired the right to maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 is recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law.

24. Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, which is also impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, prescribes: “Upon the approval of a new amount of the insured income of the respective year, all benefits awarded and paid prior to that date shall, for the period starting from the beginning of the application of the new amount of insured income, be recalculated by applying the said new amount. This provision shall not apply to <...> maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the amount of which does not exceed the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit as approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.”

Thus, Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations prescribes that the awarded and paid benefits, inter alia the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, exceeding the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, are recalculated by applying a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year.

In this context it needs to be noted that Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law prescribed that the awarded and paid social insurance benefits, inter alia the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, had to be recalculated by applying a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year.

Consequently, Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations is designed to implement inter alia Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, i.e. it provides for the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits that is analogous to the one established in Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law.

25. Item 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, which is also impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, prescribes:

75. Maternity (paternity) benefits for the persons who acquired the right to these benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 shall, as from the latter date, be recalculated and paid in the following way:

75.1. until the child reaches the age of one year—in the amount of 90 percent of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, on the basis of which these benefits have been calculated. If the so recalculated maternity (paternity) benefit exceeds the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income of the then current year, the insured shall be paid the benefit of the said latter amount. Whereas if the said recalculated maternity (paternity) benefit becomes lower than the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, the benefit of the latter marginal amount shall be paid;

75.2. until the child reaches the age of two years—in the amount of 75 percent of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, on the basis of which these benefits have been calculated. If the so recalculated maternity (paternity) benefit exceeds the sum equal to 75 percent of 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year, the insured person shall be paid the benefit of the said latter amount. Whereas if the said recalculated maternity (paternity) benefit becomes lower than the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, the benefit of the latter marginal amount shall be paid;

75.3. the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits not exceeding the marginal amount of these benefits approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be recalculated.”

Thus, Item 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations set forth the procedure for the recalculation and payment, as from 1 July 2010, of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits to the persons who acquired the right to maternity (paternity) benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continued after 1 July 2010, inter alia the maximum percentage amounts of the recalculated compensatory salary-related benefits until the child reaches one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, as well as the procedure for the payment of the recalculated benefits exceeding the said maximum percentage amounts so that such benefits are paid without exceeding those amounts.

In this context it needs to be noted that the provisions of Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law provided, in a corresponding manner, for the procedure for the recalculation and payment, as from 1 July 2010, of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, inter alia the analogous compensatory salary-related maximum percentage amounts of these benefits, as well as for the payment of the benefits exceeding the said maximum amounts so that such benefits are paid without exceeding those amounts.

Consequently, Item 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, as approved by the Government resolution, is designed to implement the provisions of Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, which provided inter alia for the procedure for the recalculation and payment, as from 1 July 2010, of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, i.e. the said item establishes the legal regulation analogous to the one established in Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law.

26. While summing up the impugned legal regulation established in Items 73.3, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, one should note that, through the legal regulation these Regulations set forth, the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law, which inter alia created preconditions for reducing the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits by recalculating them, were implemented.

27. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Items 1.1 and 2.2 of the Government Resolution (No. 1771) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 December 2009 with the Constitution.

28. It has been mentioned that, on 23 December 2009, the Government adopted the Resolution (No. 1771) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension”, which came into force on 1 January 2010.

29. It has also been mentioned that, through Item 1.1 of the Government resolution No. 1771 of 23 December 2009, which is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, the amount of the insured income of the year 2010, which was equal to LTL 1,170, was approved.

In this context it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, by the Government Resolution (No. 1367) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2009” of 30 December 2008, the amount of the insured income of the year 2009, which was equal to LTL 1,488, was approved.

Thus, through Item 1.1 of the resolution No. 1771 of 23 December 2009, the Government approved a lower amount of insured income, which was equal to LTL 1,170 (instead of LTL 1,488).

30. Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, which is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, prescribes: “When calculating and awarding state social insurance pensions under the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, the amount of the insured income of the year 2009, i.e. LTL 1,488, shall be applied.”

In this context it needs to be noted that Item 2.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 prescribes: “The insured income of the year 2010, as indicated in Item 1.1 of this Resolution, shall be applied in implementing the provisions of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, as well as in calculating, awarding, and paying state social insurance and other social payments <...> where the amount of these payments <...> is linked to the amount of the insured income of the respective year, save the case provided for in Item 2.2 of this Resolution.”

Thus, when construing Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 together with Item 2.2 thereof, it needs to be noted that the lower amount of the insured income of the year 2010, as approved through Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, was applied inter alia in implementing the provisions of the Provisional Law, whereas the higher (previously valid) amount (LTL 1,488) of the insured income of the year 2009, in accordance with Item 2.2, was applied in calculating and awarding state social insurance pensions under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions.

31. While summing up the legal regulation laid down in Items 1.1 and 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 in the aspect impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, it needs to be noted that:

the lower amount of the insured income of the year 2010, as approved through Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, was applied in recalculating and paying all social payments specified in the Provisional Law;

the higher (previously valid) amount (LTL 1,488) of the insured income of the year 2009, as consolidated in Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, was applied in recalculating state social insurance pensions not under the Provisional Law, but in calculating and awarding them under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions.

32. In this context it needs to be noted that Article 14 “The Calculation and Recalculation of the State Social Insurance Pensions Awarded during the Period of the Validity of This Law” of the Provisional Law prescribed: “The state social insurance pensions awarded during the period of the validity of this Law shall be calculated in accordance with the procedure provided for by the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions and shall be recalculated by applying the provisions of this Law.”

Thus, Article 14 of the Provisional Law prescribed that state social insurance pensions calculated and awarded under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions during the period of the validity of the Provisional Law had to be recalculated in accordance with the provisions of the Provisional Law.

Consequently, although, under Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the state social insurance pensions awarded during the period of the validity of the Provisional Law were calculated under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions by applying the previously valid higher amount (LTL 1,488) of the insured income of the year 2009, these awarded pensions were recalculated under the Provisional Law by applying the lower amount (LTL 1,170) of the insured income of the year 2010, as established in Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009.

III

1. In the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating the compliance of the provisions of the Provisional Law regulating the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, as well as the compliance of the provisions of other legal acts related to the legal regulation in question, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. In this context, first of all, one is to mention the official constitutional doctrine disclosing the contents of Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution, which was formulated in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 27 February 2012 and which points inter alia to the following constitutional aspects in relation to the care and support provided by the state to families raising and bringing up children at home:

the guarantee of the state’s care and support for families that raise and bring up children at home is consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution; the legislator may establish various forms of the implementation of the said care and support, inter alia: provide for the rendering of financial support; ensure the possibility for parents to make use of their leave for raising and upbringing children at home; the state’s support to families that raise and bring up children at home may be provided inter alia as social assistance in the cases provided for by laws, as guaranteed in Article 52 of the Constitution;

the legislator enjoys the discretion to choose the sources from which the support for families raising and bringing up children at home will be funded: such support inter alia may be funded from the state budget; also, such legal regulation may be established whereby the rendering of the said support would be grounded upon social insurance, or a different model of funding such support may be chosen;

the Constitution does not establish any grounds, conditions, and length of leave for raising and bringing up children at home, nor any amounts of the financial support to be rendered during such leave—this must be established by the legislator, by paying heed to the norms and principles of the Constitution (inter alia the constitutional imperatives of a state under the rule of law, justice, reasonableness, proportionality, the protection of acquired rights, and legitimate expectations, the equality of rights, balance among constitutional values, and social harmony);

the capabilities of society and the state must be taken into account when regulating by law the relations of the support given to families that raise and bring up children at home.

It also needs to be mentioned that, as held in the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 27 February 2012, when implementing, under Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution, the constitutional obligation of the state to create a favourable environment for the family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood, various forms of the protection of, and support to, these constitutional values may be developed.

3. As mentioned before, the legislator, while establishing the grounds for granting leave for raising and bringing up children at home, as well as the amounts of the financial support that should be rendered during such leave, must heed inter alia the constitutional principles of the protection of acquired rights and legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security.

The constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security imply the state’s obligation to secure the certainty and stability of legal regulation, to protect the rights of persons, to respect the legitimate interests and legitimate expectations; these principles inter alia imply that the state must fulfil all its undertaken obligations to the person; if the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, and legal security were not ensured, the trust of the person in the state and law would not be secured (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 6 February 2012 and 29 June 2012).

4. It has also been mentioned that the legislator, while establishing the grounds for granting leave for raising and bringing up children at home, as well as the amounts of the financial support that should be rendered during such leave, must heed inter alia the constitutional imperatives of proportionality and the equality of rights.

The constitutional principle of the equality of persons before the law, which means the innate right of a human being to be treated equally with the others, obliges one to legally assess homogenous facts in the same manner and prohibits from the arbitrary assessment of the facts that are the same in essence in a different manner, as well as which does not permit discriminating persons and granting them privileges, would be violated if certain persons or groups thereof were treated in a different manner, even though there are not any differences in the character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment could be objectively justified (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 29 June 2012, 24 December 2012, and 15 February 2013). Differentiated legal regulation, when it is applied to certain groups of persons which are distinguished by the same signs, and where it strives for positive and socially meaningful goals, or where the establishment of certain limitations or conditions is linked to the peculiarities of the regulated social relations, should not, in itself, be regarded as discrimination (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010, rulings of 22 December 2011 and 29 March 2012).

The constitutional principle of proportionality, as the Constitutional Court has held on more than one occasion, means that the measures provided for in a law must be in line with the legitimate objectives that are important to society, that these measures must be necessary in order to reach these objectives, and that these measures must not restrain the rights and freedoms of a person clearly more than necessary in order to reach these objectives (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010, the rulings of 6 February 2012 and 15 February 2013).

5. In this context it needs to be noted that the Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence follows the line, according to which, under the Constitution, one may not, by limiting fundamental human rights, violate the essence of these rights; if a right is limited so that its implementation becomes impossible, or it is restricted so that reasonable limits are overstepped, or its legal protection is no longer ensured, in that case there are grounds to assert that the essence of such a right has been violated, which is equivalent to the denial of this right (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 18 April 1996 and 23 February 2000).

The said provision of the official constitutional doctrine, under which one may not, through any limitations, violate (deny) the essence of human rights, is mutatis mutandis also applicable to the right acquired under the law to the financial support of the amount established by the law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home (the right to one of the forms of the care and support guaranteed by the state under Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution for families raising and bringing up children at home, which is chosen by the legislator and which may be implemented inter alia as the social assistance guaranteed by Article 52 of the Constitution in the cases provided for by laws).

6. It needs to be noted that the Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence also follows the line whereby the requirements stemming from the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights, justice, proportionality, the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, legal security, and social solidarity, as well as from other constitutional imperatives, must be heeded also when there is a special situation in the state (economic crisis, etc.) (the Constitutional Court’s decision of 20 April 2010 and the ruling of 6 February 2012).

It also needs to be noted that the constitutional imperatives of a state under the rule of law, justice, proportionality, the equality of rights, and social solidarity inter alia mean that the burden of the economic and financial crisis should be evenly and proportionately shared among the entire society (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 6 February 2012). In the event of a difficult economic and financial situation, the budgetary financing of all the institutions implementing state power, as well as the financing of various areas financed from the resources of the budgets of the state and municipalities, should be, as a rule, revised and reduced (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 28 March 2006 and 22 October 2007, the decision of 15 January 2009).

It also needs to be noted that the state’s social orientation, which is consolidated in the Constitution, implies the legislator’s discretion, in the event of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, and, thus, upon the occurrence of the necessity to temporarily reduce pensions and other social payments, to establish, after assessing the resources of the state and society, their material and financial possibilities, as well as other significant circumstances, the exceptions that need to be applied also to certain other groups of the socially most sensitive persons, which need a special social assistance, i.e. to establish that pensions and other social payments for these groups of persons are not reduced, or are reduced to a smaller extent, so that the conditions of living would be in line with human dignity; while establishing the said exceptions, one must follow inter alia the imperatives of a state under the rule of law, the equality of rights, justice, proportionality, and social solidarity, which are consolidated in the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 6 February 2012).

The Constitutional Court has held that the constitutional concept of the state budget, as well as the constitutional principle of responsible governance, gives rise to the requirement that the state budget must be realistic and that the revenue and expenditure earmarked therein must be based on the assessment of the needs and possibilities of society and the state (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 15 February 2013). In the Constitutional Court’s acts it has been held on more than one occasion that both the Government, which has, under the Constitution, the powers to execute the state budget, and the Seimas, which, under the Constitution, approves the state budget by law, may not decide not to react to such an essential change in the economic and financial condition of the state when, due to special circumstances (economic crisis, natural calamity, etc.), a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state; it is self-evident that, upon the occurrence of the said situation in the state, the revenue earmarked in the Law on the State Budget (and Municipal Budgets) might not be raised, thus, the funds necessary for financing the respective needs provided for in the Law on the State Budget (and Municipal Budgets) are not obtained (inter alia the Constitutional Court’s decision of 13 November 2007, the ruling of 11 December 2009, the decision of 20 April 2010, and the ruling of 15 February 2013).

7. In the context of the constitutional justice case at issue it needs to be noted that, when providing support to families raising and bringing up children at home, the state must observe the constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, legal security, the equality of rights, and proportionality also in the event of the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state. Persons who have, under the law, acquired the right to the financial support of the amount established by the law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home have no legal expectation that this support will not be reduced upon the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, however, they have a legitimate expectation that in the event of the reduction of the said support upon the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state inter alia the constitutional principles of the equality of rights and proportionality will be observed.

It also needs to be pointed out that in exceptional cases, while reducing, upon the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, the financial support rendered in an established amount during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home, a duty arises for the legislator to establish an even and non-discriminatory extent of the reduction of such granted financial support, ensuring that the said support is reduced so that the previously established (prior to the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state) proportions of the amounts of that support are not violated.

It needs to be noted that, while reducing, upon the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, the funding of various state-financed areas, inter alia the budgetary funding of all state institutions and financial support rendered during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home, which is calculated on the basis of the parents’ work remuneration, the legislator is also under the duty to establish that the work remuneration of the persons who, under the law, have the right to receive the said support, and whose work is remunerated from state funds, would not be reduced to a greater extent if compared to the aforesaid support.

8. It needs to be noted that financial support rendered during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home (one of the forms of the care and support guaranteed by the state under Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution for families raising and bringing up children at home, which is chosen by the legislator and which may be implemented inter alia as the social assistance guaranteed by Article 52 of the Constitution in the cases provided for by laws), by its nature, temporary (time-limited) character, and purpose, differs from the pensions guaranteed by Article 52 of the Constitution, as well as from the other payments of pensionary maintenance provided for by laws, the right to which is related to the protection of ownership rights, consolidated in Article 23 of the Constitution. The said difference is particularly distinct in the light of the fact that the financial support provided for by law is a targeted one, i.e. it should be linked to a concrete period of raising and bringing up a child at home as well as to the support of such an amount that depends on the capabilities of the state and society.

IV

On the compliance of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with the Constitution.

1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as the compliance of Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. It has also been mentioned that the petitioners’ doubts as regards the compliance of the indicated provisions of the Provisional Law with the Constitution are substantiated inter alia by the fact that the right to the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits or maternity (paternity) payments, according to the petitioners, is viewed as the benefit (payment) recipient’s right to ownership and is defended under Article 23 of the Constitution; upon being awarded a benefit or payment, its recipient acquires a legitimate expectation that the said benefit or payment of an established amount will be paid during the entire period of its due payment; by establishing different proportions for the purposes of reducing the said payments among the respective groups of recipients of social payments, i.e. by reducing higher payments received prior to the occurrence of a difficult economic and financial situation by a greater percentage share than the corresponding lower payments for members of the same social group, one violated the constitutional principle of proportionality, as well as, according to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner (petition No. 1B-113/2010), the constitutional principle of the equality of rights.

3. As mentioned before, under the impugned legal regulation consolidated in Article 9 of the Provisional Law, as from 1 January 2010, a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year was applied in recalculating those awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits that had already been calculated and paid by applying the amount of insured income valid in the month of the acquisition of the right to those benefits and approved by the Government while implementing the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance and the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, whereas, as from 1 July 2010, the amount of all maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits (those awarded prior to that date and those newly awarded after it) was limited up to the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income newly approved by the Government for the then current year, which expressed the maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits (instead of the sum of 5 amounts of the insured income newly approved by the Government for the then current year, which, as from 1 January 2010 until 30 June 2010, was equated with the maximum amount of the compensatory salary under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance).

It has also been mentioned that, under the impugned legal regulation laid down in Article 10 of the Provisional Law, those awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and inter alia maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants (officials) that exceeded the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, were, as from 1 July 2010, recalculated and paid, until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, by applying certain fixed percentage amounts (until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age—90 and 75 percent, respectively, of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, on the basis of which the benefit was calculated, or of the average officials’ work remuneration, as calculated according to the procedure established by the Government), however, the said awarded benefits and payments could not be higher than the sum of 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—until the child reaches the age of one year, and not higher than 75 percent of the sum of 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year—during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, whereas where they were higher, they were paid in the amount not exceeding the latter maximum amounts.

4. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law (to the specified extent) with inter alia Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution.

5. While deciding whether Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, was not in conflict with Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, according to the Constitution, as mentioned before:

the Constitution does not establish any grounds, conditions, and length of leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home, nor any amounts of the financial support to be rendered during such leave—this must be established by the legislator;

the capabilities of society and the state must be taken into account when regulating by law the relations of the support rendered to families raising and bringing up children at home.

6. In this context it also needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the constitutional imperatives of a state under the rule of law, justice, proportionality, the equality of rights, and social solidarity inter alia mean that the burden of economic and financial crisis should be evenly and proportionately shared among the entire society (the Constitutional Court’s ruling of 6 February 2012); in the event of a difficult economic and financial situation, the budgetary financing of all institutions implementing state power, as well as the financing of various areas financed from the resources of the budgets of the state and municipalities, should be, as a rule, revised and reduced (the Constitutional Court’s rulings of 28 March 2006 and 22 October 2007).

7. It needs to be noted that the aforementioned impugned legal regulation established in Article 9 of the Provisional Law created preconditions, as from 1 January 2010, to reduce, through the application of a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year, those awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits subject to recalculation the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law and the compensatory salary of the recipients of which was higher than a new maximum amount of the compensatory salary.

It also needs to be noted that the legal regulation established in Article 10 of the Provisional Law created preconditions, as from 1 July 2010, inter alia to reduce the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which were subject to recalculation, until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, from 100 to 90 percent and from 85 to 75 percent, respectively, of the compensatory salary, on the basis of which the said benefits were calculated, or of the officials’ average work remuneration, as calculated in accordance with the procedure established by the Government.

8. It also needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the Provisional Law was adopted while seeking to limit the growth of the deficits of the state budget and the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund, which had been caused by the economic crisis; while taking account of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, and while seeking to protect, as much as possible, the groups of socially sensitive persons, this law laid down such a procedure for the recalculation and payment of social payments that implied the reduction of the awarded social payments.

Consequently, while establishing in Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law such legal regulation whereby preconditions were created to correspondingly reduce inter alia the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, the legislator took into account the extraordinary situation existing in the state, in which, inter alia due to a particularly difficult economic and financial situation, it was impossible to raise such an amount of funds that was necessary to render the financial support provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home.

9. It needs to be emphasised that, to the specified extent, the impugned legal regulation established in the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law provided a ground not to cancel, or to minimise by an impermissibly large extent, but, as a result of recalculation, to reduce by a certain percentage share (inter alia 10 percent as from 1 July 2010) those aforementioned awarded benefits and payments that exceeded the marginal amount; thereby no preconditions were created to deny the essence of the right acquired under law to the financial support of an amount fixed by law and granted during leave for raising and bringing up children at home.

10. It needs to be held that Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, did not deny the state’s duty, stemming from Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution, to protect and take care of family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood, nor the state’s obligation, consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution, to take care of families that raise and bring up children at home and to render support to such families according to the procedure established by law, and did not violate Article 52 of the Constitution, which guarantees inter alia social assistance in the cases provided for by law.

11. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law (to the specified extent) with inter alia Article 23 of the Constitution.

12. It has also been mentioned that the petitioners, while substantiating their doubts regarding, to the specified extent, the compliance of the impugned legal regulation with Article 23 of the Constitution, invoke the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, whereby the right to demand that pensionary maintenance payments, which are provided for in the Constitution and laws not in conflict with the Constitution, be paid stems from Article 52 of the Constitution, and the property aspects of this right are defended under Article 23 of the Constitution; persons who have been awarded and paid a pension established by the Constitution or by law, under Article 23 of the Constitution, have the right to demand that the corresponding payments be paid further to them in the amounts awarded and paid previously; even in the cases when, due to special circumstances (economic crisis, etc.), a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state, one must, according to Article 23 of the Constitution, heed the principle of the protection of an acquired right.

In the petitioners’ opinion, the said provisions of the official constitutional doctrine are equally applicable to social insurance benefits, the payment of which is the duty of the state that stems from Article 52 of the Constitution. Thus, according to the petitioners, the right to the awarded and paid maternity, paternity, or maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits is regarded as their recipients’ right to ownership and is defended under Article 23 of the Constitution.

13. While deciding whether Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, was not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, according to the Constitution, as mentioned before:

financial support rendered during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home (one of the forms of the care and support guaranteed by the state under Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution for families raising and bringing up children at home, which is chosen by the legislator and which may be implemented inter alia as the social assistance guaranteed in Article 52 of the Constitution in the cases provided for by law), by its nature, temporary (time-limited) character and purpose, differs from the pensions guaranteed in Article 52 of the Constitution, as well as from the other payments of pensionary maintenance provided for by laws, the right to which is related to the protection of ownership rights, consolidated in Article 23 of the Constitution;

the said difference is particularly distinct in the light of the fact that the financial support provided for by law is a targeted one, i.e. it should be linked to a concrete period of raising and bringing up a child at home as well as to such an amount of support that depends on the capabilities of the state and society.

Thus, the right acquired under law to the financial support of an amount provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home may not be equated with the right to the pensions guaranteed in Article 52 of the Constitution, nor with the right acquired under law to any other pensionary maintenance payment provided for by law, both of which have the aspects of the ownership right according to Article 23 of the Constitution.

14. It needs to be noted that the aforesaid impugned (to the specified extent) legal regulation established in Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law created preconditions, while recalculating, to reduce, by a certain percentage share (until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, inter alia by 10 percent—from 100 to 90 percent and from 85 to 75 percent, respectively, of the compensatory salary, on the basis of which the said benefits were calculated, or of the officials’ average work remuneration, as calculated in accordance with the procedure established by the Government), inter alia the already awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system.

15. It needs to be emphasised that, to the specified extent, the impugned legal regulation established in the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law provided a ground not to cancel, or to minimise by an impermissibly large extent, but, as a result of recalculation, to reduce, by a certain percentage share (inter alia 10 percent as from 1 July 2010), those aforementioned awarded benefits and payments that exceeded the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) benefit and payment; thereby no preconditions were created to deny the essence of the right acquired under law to the financial support of an amount provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home.

16. Consequently, the correction of the legal regulation, by reducing, to a permissible extent, the part of the awarded and paid under law social payments (those exceeding marginal amounts), the right to which was acquired prior to the correction, and through which financial support is rendered during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home, may not, in the event of the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, be treated as violating the ownership right of the person to whom such support has been awarded and paid (i.e. the ownership right of the person who has, under law, acquired the right to the financial support of an amount provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home).

17. It needs to be held that Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, did not violate any requirements stemming from Article 23 of the Constitution for the protection of ownership rights.

18. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law (to the specified extent) with inter alia Article 29 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

19. While deciding whether Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, was not in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, it needs to be noted that, according to the Constitution, as mentioned before:

when providing support for families raising and bringing up children at home, the state must observe the constitutional principles of the protection of legitimate expectations, legal certainty, legal security, the equality of rights, and proportionality also in the event of the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state; persons who have, under law, acquired the right to the financial support of an amount provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home have no legal expectation that this support will not be reduced upon the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, however, they have a legitimate expectation that in the event of the reduction of the said support, upon the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, inter alia the constitutional principles of the equality of rights and proportionality will be observed;

in exceptional cases, while reducing, upon the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state, the financial support rendered in an established amount during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home, the legislator is under the duty to establish an even and non-discriminatory extent of the reduction of such granted financial support, ensuring that the said support is reduced so that the previously established (prior to the occurrence of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state) proportions of the amounts of that support are not violated.

20. It needs to be noted that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law (“Upon the approval of a new amount of the insured income of the respective year, all social insurance benefits awarded and paid prior to that date, for the period starting from the beginning of the application of the new amount of insured income, be recalculated by applying the said new amount”) created preconditions, as from 1 January 2010, to reduce, through the application of a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year, those awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits exceeding the marginal amount the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law and the compensatory salary of the recipients of which was higher than a new maximum amount of the compensatory salary (the latter amount, in its turn, was changed, i.e. as from 1 January 2010 until 30 June 2010, according to the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, it was equated to the sum equal to 5 amounts of the insured income newly approved by the Government for the then current year).

It also needs to be noted that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 (“may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year”) of Article 9, as well as in Paragraphs 2 and 3 (“In those cases where the <...> benefit exceeds <...>, the insured person shall be paid the benefit of the said latter amount”) of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, created preconditions, as from 1 July 2010, through the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law, to reduce the said benefits and payments on the following two grounds: first, to reduce the said benefits and payments subject to recalculation until the child reaches the age of one year and during the period when the child is from one to two years of age from 100 to 90 percent and from 85 to 75 percent, respectively, of the compensatory salary, on the basis of which the said benefits were calculated, or of the officials’ average work remuneration, as calculated in accordance with the procedure established by the Government; second, to reduce those benefits and payments recalculated on the basis of the first ground that exceeded the aforementioned maximum amounts (during the indicated periods up to 90 and 75 percent, respectively, of the compensatory salary or of the average work remuneration), i.e. to pay the benefits and payments in question without exceeding the said maximum amounts.

21. Thus, the legal regulation established in Paragraph 1 of Article 9 and Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law created preconditions, as from 1 July 2010, not only to reduce by 10 percent inter alia the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, but also to additionally reduce those said (already subject to the reduction by 10 percent) benefits and payments that exceeded certain maximum amounts (by recalculating them so that they do not exceed those amounts).

22. It needs to be held that the requirements of proportionality stemming from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law were not complied with by such legal regulation of an uneven recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system when, through the establishment of the maximum amounts of the recalculated benefits and payments the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law, preconditions were created to reduce, as from 1 July 2010, the said benefits and payments additionally, i.e.:

Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law laid down the legal regulation under which the amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which had been awarded prior to the entry into force of this law and which had already been recalculated in accordance with the procedure established in Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of this law, was, as from 1 July 2010, limited up to the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year, which expressed the maximum amount of the compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits;

Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law laid down the legal regulation under which those maternity (paternity) benefits and payments awarded prior to the entry into force of this law that, after having been reduced by 10 percent, exceeded, until the child reaches the age of one year, the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year were additionally reduced to the extent that they would not exceed the said maximum amount, i.e. until the child reaches the age of one year would be not higher than the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year;

Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law laid down the legal regulation under which those maternity (paternity) benefits and payments awarded prior to the entry into force of this law that, after having been reduced by 10 percent, exceeded, during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year were additionally reduced to the extent that they would not exceed the said maximum amount, i.e. during the period when the child is from one to two years of age would not exceed 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year.

23. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one should draw a conclusion that the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law was not complied with by the following:

the provision “[d]uring the period of the validity of this Law the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, when applied in calculating <...> as from 1 July 2010—social insurance benefits of <...> maternity (paternity), may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year” of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it covered such awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this law;

Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it prescribed that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this provisional law, could not, until the child reaches the age of one year, exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year;

Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it prescribed that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this provisional law, could not, during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, exceed 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year.

24. Having held the foregoing, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, was not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution.

V

On the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments with the Constitution.

1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, and Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. It has also been mentioned that the petitioners’ doubts as regards the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution are substantiated inter alia by the fact that the provisions of the official constitutional doctrine that disclose the concept of the pensionary maintenance payments provided for in the Constitution and laws not in conflict with the Constitution are, purportedly, equally applicable to social insurance benefits, as well as that the right to the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, according to the petitioners, is regarded as the right of the recipients of these benefits to ownership and is defended under Article 23 of the Constitution. Therefore, according to the petitioners, the legislation should have provided for a just compensation for the losses incurred as a result of the reduction of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system upon the recalculation of these benefits and payments.

3. It has been mentioned that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law proposes that the Government prepare and approve the description of the procedure for compensation for certain reduced state social insurance pensions, but that it does not propose that the Government prepare and approve inter alia the description of the procedure for compensation for the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded and paid from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials), which were reduced after being recalculated.

It has also been mentioned that any compensation for the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and inter alia the maternity (paternity) payments paid from the state budget to statutory state servants (officials), which were reduced upon recalculation, was provided for neither in the provisions of Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, nor in other articles of this law.

4. While deciding whether Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, and Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, one should note that, according to the Constitution, as mentioned before:

financial support rendered during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home (one of the forms of the care and support guaranteed by the state under Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution for families raising and bringing up children at home, which is chosen by the legislator and which may be implemented inter alia as the social assistance guaranteed in Article 52 of the Constitution in the cases provided for by law), by its nature, temporary (time-limited) character, and purpose, differs from the pensions guaranteed in Article 52 of the Constitution as well as from the other payments of pensionary maintenance provided for by law;

the right acquired under law to the financial support of an amount provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home may not be equated with the right to the pensions guaranteed in Article 52 of the Constitution, nor with the right acquired under law to any other pensionary maintenance payment provided for by law, both of which have the aspects of the ownership right according to Article 23 of the Constitution.

Consequently, the peculiarities of financial support rendered during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home—its nature, temporary (time-limited) character, and purpose—imply that upon a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state and in the event of the necessity, arising due to the said situation, to temporarily reduce the aforesaid support with a view to ensuring certain vitally important interests of society and the state as well as protecting other constitutional values, no duty arises for the legislator to provide for compensation for the losses incurred as a result of the reduction of the aforesaid support, while the reduction itself does not deny the essence of the right acquired under law to the financial support of an amount provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home.

5. It has been noted that, as mentioned before, the impugned (to the specified extent) legal regulation established in the provisions of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law provided for a ground not to cancel, or to minimise by an impermissibly large extent, but, as a result of recalculation, to reduce, by a certain percentage share (inter alia 10 percent as from 1 July 2010), those aforementioned awarded benefits and payments that exceeded the marginal amount; thereby no preconditions were created to deny the essence of the right acquired under law to the financial support of an amount provided for by law during leave granted for raising and bringing up children at home.

It also needs to be noted that in this ruling it has been held that Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, as well as Article 10 of the same law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits and payments, did not violate any requirements stemming from Article 23 of the Constitution for the protection of ownership rights.

6. It needs to be held that the legal regulation established in Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, does not violate any requirements stemming from Article 23 of the Constitution for the protection of ownership rights, nor the principle of the equality of persons consolidated in Article 29 of the Constitution, does not deny the state’s duty, stemming from Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution, to protect and take care of family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood, nor the state’s obligation, consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution, to take care of families that raise and bring up children at home as well as to render support to such families according to the procedure established by law, and does not deviate from the requirements stemming from the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

7. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one should draw a conclusion that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, and Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

VI

On the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Government Resolution (No. 86) “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, with the Constitution.

1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Items 73, 74, and 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by these items, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. The petitioners’ doubts as regards the compliance of the indicated items of the Regulations with the Constitution are substantiated by the same arguments as the ones provided regarding the compliance of Articles 9 and 10 of the Provisional Law with the Constitution, i.e. inter alia by the fact that the right to the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit, according to the petitioners, is regarded as the benefit recipient’s right to ownership and is defended under Article 23 of the Constitution; in the petitioners’ opinion, upon being awarded a benefit, the benefit recipient acquires a legitimate expectation that the benefit of an established amount will be paid during the entire period of its due payment; by establishing different proportions of the reduction of social payments among the respective groups of recipients of these payments, i.e. by reducing higher payments received prior to the occurrence of a difficult economic and financial situation by a greater percentage share than the corresponding lower payments for members of the same social group, one violated the constitutional principle of proportionality, and, according to the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, a petitioner (petition No. 1B-113/2010) also the constitutional principle of the equality of rights.

3. As mentioned before, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Item 73 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, to the specified extent, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

It has also been mentioned that the legal regulation of significance in the constitutional justice case at issue in the aspect under investigation, i.e. insofar as it regulated the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, was consolidated in Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations.

3.1. It has been mentioned that Item 73.3 (“<...> The compensatory salary applied in calculating benefits for the persons who acquired the right to <...> maternity (paternity) benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 shall, as from the latter date, be recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law”) (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations was designed to implement Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, under which, as mentioned before, the amount of all maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits (inter alia those awarded prior to that date) was, as from 1 July 2010, limited up to the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year, which expressed the maximum amount of the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary applied in calculating the said benefits.

3.2. It has been held in this Constitutional Court’s ruling that the provision “[d]uring the period of the validity of this Law the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, when applied in calculating <...> as from 1 July 2010—social insurance benefits of <...> maternity (paternity), may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year” of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as it covered such awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this law, was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3.3. Having held the foregoing, one also needs to hold that the provision “<...> the compensatory salary applied in calculating benefits for the persons who acquired the right to <...> maternity (paternity) benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 shall, as from the latter date, be recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law” of Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as it covered such awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this law, was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3.4. In the light of what has been held above, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether Item 73 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, to the specified extent, was not in conflict with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution.

4. As mentioned before, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating the compliance of Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, to the specified extent, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

4.1. It has been mentioned that Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations prescribes that the awarded and paid benefits, inter alia the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, exceeding the marginal amount of the maternity (paternity) social insurance benefit are recalculated by applying a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year.

It has also been mentioned that Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations is designed to implement inter alia Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, i.e. it regulates the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is analogous to the one established in Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law.

4.2. It has been held in this Constitutional Court’s ruling that Article 9 of the Provisional Law, inter alia Paragraph 2 thereof, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, did not violate the state’s duty, stemming from Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution, to protect and take care of family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood, did not deny the state’s obligation, consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution, to take care of families raising and bringing up children at home as well as to render support to such families according to the procedure established by law, and did not violate Article 52 of the Constitution, which guarantees inter alia social assistance in the cases provided for by law, and the requirements, stemming from Article 23 of the Constitution, for the protection of ownership rights.

It needs to be noted that, having investigated in this ruling the compliance of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this article, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with inter alia the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, the Constitutional Court has held that the provision of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law (to the specified extent) was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law. Thus, Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which was regulated by this paragraph, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, was not in conflict the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

4.3. Having held this, on the grounds of the same arguments, one also needs to hold that Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by this item, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, does not violate the state’s duty, stemming from Paragraph 2 of Article 38 of the Constitution, to protect and take care of family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood, does not deny the state’s obligation, consolidated in Paragraph 1 of Article 39 of the Constitution, to take care of families raising and bringing up children at home as well as to render support to such families according to the procedure established by law, and does not violate Article 52 of the Constitution, which guarantees inter alia social assistance in the cases provided for by law, and the requirements, stemming from Article 23 of the Constitution, for the protection of ownership rights.

4.4. As mentioned before, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, to the specified extent, with inter alia Article 29 of the Constitution.

4.5. While deciding whether Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, to the specified extent, is not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the constitutional principle of the equality of persons before the law, which means the innate right of a human being to be treated equally with the others, obliges one to legally assess homogenous facts in the same manner and prohibits from the arbitrary assessment of the facts that are the same in essence in a different manner, as well as which does not permit discriminating persons and granting them privileges, would be violated if certain persons or groups thereof were treated in a different manner, even though there are not any differences in the character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment could be objectively justified (the Constitutional Court’s inter alia rulings of 27 February 2012, 29 June 2012, and 15 February 2013).

4.6. It needs to be noted that the aforementioned impugned legal regulation consolidated in Item 74 of the Regulations while implementing Paragraph 2 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law, created preconditions, as from 1 January 2010, to reduce, through the application of a new government-approved amount of the insured income of the then current year, those awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits subject to recalculation the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law and the compensatory salary of the recipients of which was higher than a new maximum amount of the compensatory salary.

4.7. It needs to be emphasised that the impugned legal regulation consolidated in Item 74 of the Regulations equally applied to all of the awarded and paid maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the amount of which, in accordance with the valid legal acts, was limited up to the maximum amount of the compensatory salary and had to be correspondingly recalculated by applying a new amount of the insured income of the then current year.

4.8. It needs to be held that Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by this item, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, does not violate the constitutional principle of the equality of persons before the law, which is consolidated in Article 29 of the Constitution.

4.9. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one should draw a conclusion that Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by this item, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, does not violate Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5. As mentioned before, in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Item 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by this item, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

5.1. It has been mentioned that Item 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations was designed to implement the provisions of Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, which provided inter alia for the procedure for the recalculation and payment, as from 1 July 2010, of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, i.e. the said item established the legal regulation analogous to the one established in Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law.

5.2. It has been held in this Constitutional Court ruling that the following was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, inter alia insofar as it prescribed that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this provisional law could not, until the child reaches the age of one year, exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year;

Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of the Provisional Law, inter alia insofar as it prescribed that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this provisional law could not, during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, exceed 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year.

5.3. Having held the foregoing, one needs to hold that also the following is in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law:

Item 75.1 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as it prescribes that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law may not, until the child reaches the age of one year, exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year;

Item 75.2 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations, insofar as it prescribes that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Provisional Law may not, during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, exceed 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year.

5.4. In the light of the foregoing, the Constitutional Court will not further investigate whether Item 75 (wording of 23 December 2009) of the Regulations is not in conflict with Articles 23 and 29, Paragraph 2 of Article 38, Paragraph 1 of Article 39, and Article 52 of the Constitution.

VII

On the compliance of Item 1.1 of the Government Resolution (No. 1771) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 December 2009 with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law, as well as on the compliance of Item 2.2 of the said resolution with Article 29 of the Constitution.

1. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Item 1.1 of the Government Resolution (No. 1771) “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 December 2009 with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. The petitioner’s (petition No. 1B-151/2010) doubts as regards the compliance of Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 with the Constitution are substantiated by the fact that the said item, through which the amount of the insured income (LTL 1,170) of the year 2010 was approved, was designed to implement the impugned provisions of the Provisional Law, according to which the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits were recalculated, therefore, the said item is in conflict with the Constitution.

3. As mentioned before, according to the official constitutional doctrine, inter alia the Government, which has, under the Constitution, the powers to execute the state budget, may not decide not to react to such an essential change of the economic and financial condition of the state when, due to special circumstances (economic crisis, natural calamity, etc.), a particularly difficult economic and financial situation occurs in the state.

4. It has been mentioned that, through Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, which is impugned in the constitutional justice case at issue, the amount of the insured income of the year 2010, which was equal to LTL 1,170, was approved.

It has also been mentioned that, through Item 1.1 of the resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the Government approved a lower amount (LTL 1,170 instead of LTL 1,488) of the insured income of the year 2010, which, as from 1 January 2010, was applied inter alia in implementing the provisions of the Provisional Law.

5. It needs to be noted that, through the impugned Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the Government implemented its duty, established, as mentioned before, in Paragraph 1 of Article 16 of the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions (wording of 19 May 2005), to approve, at least once per year, upon the submission of the State Social Insurance Fund Board, the amount of the insured income of the respective year, which depends upon the revenue and expenditure of the budget of the State Social Insurance Fund of the corresponding year or of the corresponding period of the year.

It needs to be noted that the lower amount of the insured income of the year 2010, approved through the impugned Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, was applied inter alia in implementing the Provisional Law, which, as mentioned before, in view of a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state and while seeking to protect, as much as possible, the groups of socially sensitive persons, laid down such a procedure for the recalculation and payment of social payments that implied the reduction of the awarded social payments.

Thus, the Government, while approving, through the impugned Item 1.1 of its resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the amount of the insured income of the year 2010, was obliged to pay heed to a particularly difficult economic and financial situation in the state.

One also needs to note that Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 does not regulate any legal relations connected to the recalculation and payment of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits.

6. Thus, it is necessary to hold that there is no legal ground to maintain that Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, through which the amount (LTL 1,170) of the insured income of the year 2010 was approved, violates the requirements arising from Article 23 of the Constitution with respect to the protection of ownership rights, as well as the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

7. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one should draw a conclusion that Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 is not in conflict with Article 23 of the Constitution and the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

8. It has been mentioned that in the constitutional justice case at issue the Constitutional Court is investigating inter alia the compliance of Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 with Article 29 of the Constitution.

9. As mentioned before, the petitioner’s (petition No. 1B-151/2010) doubts as regards the compliance of Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 with Article 29 of the Constitution are substantiated by the fact that, through this item, according to the petitioner, the Government singled out a group of persons receiving state social insurance pensions from other groups, inter alia a group of receivers of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, and did not reduce the amount of the insured income of the then current year for that group; thereby the Government violated the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

10. When deciding whether Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 is not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution, it needs to be noted that, as mentioned before, the constitutional principle of the equality of persons before the law, which means the innate right of a human being to be treated equally with the others, obliges one to legally assess homogenous facts in the same manner and prohibits from the arbitrary assessment of the facts that are the same in essence in a different manner, as well as which does not permit discriminating persons and granting them privileges, would be violated if certain persons or groups thereof were treated in a different manner, even though there are not any differences in the character and extent between these groups that such an uneven treatment could be objectively justified.

11. It has been mentioned that the higher (previously valid) amount (LTL 1,488) of the insured income of the year 2009, as consolidated in Item 2.2 of the Government resolution No. 1771 of 23 December 2009, was applied not in recalculating state social insurance pensions under the Provisional Law, but in calculating and awarding them under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions.

It has also been mentioned that the lower amount of the insured income of the year 2010, as approved through Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, was applied in recalculating and paying all social payments specified in the Provisional Law.

It has also been mentioned that, although, under Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, the state social insurance pensions awarded during the period of the validity of the Provisional Law were calculated under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions by applying the previously valid higher amount (LTL 1,488) of the insured income of the year 2009, these awarded pensions were recalculated under the Provisional Law by applying the lower amount (LTL 1,170) of the insured income of the year 2010, established in Item 1.1 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009.

12. It needs to be noted that all receivers of social payments in question, inter alia receivers of maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and state social insurance pensions, insofar as they are related to the application of the lower amount of the insured income of the year 2010 while implementing the provisions of the Provisional Law, are treated in the same manner.

13. It needs to be held that Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009, according to which the higher (previously valid) amount (LTL 1,488) of the insured income of the year 2009 is applied when calculating and awarding state social insurance pensions under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions, does not violate the constitutional principle of the equality of all persons.

14. Taking account of the arguments set forth, one should draw a conclusion that Item 2.2 of the Government resolution (No. 1771) of 23 December 2009 is not in conflict with Article 29 of the Constitution.

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

ruling:

1. To recognise that the provision “[d]uring the period of the validity of this Law the benefit recipient’s compensatory salary, when applied in calculating <...> as from 1 July 2010 <...> social insurance benefits of <...> maternity (paternity), may not exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the then current year” of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it covered such awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this provisional law, was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

2. To recognise that Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it prescribed that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this provisional law, could not, until the child reaches the age of one year, exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year, was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

3. To recognise that Paragraph 3 of Article 10 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it prescribed that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and the maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of this provisional law, could not, during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, exceed 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year, was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

4. To recognise that Paragraph 4 of Article 16 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 152-6820), insofar as it does not provide for any compensation for the reduced, as a result of recalculation, awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits and maternity (paternity) payments awarded to statutory state servants—officials of the internal service system, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

5. To recognise that the provision “[t]he compensatory salary applied in calculating benefits for the persons who acquired the right to <...> maternity (paternity) benefits prior to 30 June 2010 and to whom the payment of these benefits continues after 1 July 2010 shall, as from the latter date, be recalculated in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Provisional Law” of Item 73.3 (wording of 23 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7164) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as it covered such awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments, was in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

6. To recognise that Item 74 (wording of 23 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7164) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as the recalculation of the awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits, which is regulated by this item, created preconditions for reducing the said benefits, is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

7. To recognise that Item 75.1 (wording of 23 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7164) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as it prescribes that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments may not, until the child reaches the age of one year, exceed the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year, is in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

8. To recognise that Item 75.2 (wording of 23 December 2009; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7164) of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity, as approved by the Resolution (No. 86) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Approval of the Regulations on Social Insurance Benefits of Sickness and Maternity” of 25 January 2001, insofar as it prescribes that the recalculated awarded maternity (paternity) social insurance benefits the right to which had been acquired prior to the entry into force of the Republic of Lithuania’s Provisional Law on the Recalculation and Payment of Social Payments may not, during the period when the child is from one to two years of age, exceed 75 percent of the sum equal to 4 amounts of the insured income approved by the Government for the then current year, is in conflict with the constitutional principle of a state under the rule of law.

9. To recognise that Item 1.1 of the Resolution (No. 1771) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 December 2009 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7157) is not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

10. To recognise that Item 2.2 of the Resolution (No. 1771) of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On Approving the Amount of the Insured Income of the Year 2010, the Marginal Amount of the Maternity (Paternity) Social Insurance Benefit, and the Marginal Amount of the State Pension” of 23 December 2009 (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2009, No. 158-7157) is 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:                          Toma Birmontienė

                                                                                 Pranas Kuconis

                                                                                 Gediminas Mesonis

                                                                                 Ramutė Ruškytė

                                                                                 Egidijus Šileikis

                                                                                 Algirdas Taminskas

                                                                                 Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis

                                                                                 Dainius Žalimas