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24 May, 2024
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Cyprus exposes 25 cases of dual pensions and salaries

The ethics of double pensions under scrutiny

Apostolis Tomaras

Apostolis Tomaras

Around 25 citizens and officials in the Republic of Cyprus are receiving double pay—pension plus salary, according to the Republic's Auditor General.

This revelation sparks a peculiar witch hunt, raising a crucial question: Are recipients of double pensions breaking the law or not? The issue of retired officials engaged in work activities isn't new, and since 2011, double pensions have fluctuated without legal regulation.

Suspicion lingers on recipients refusing self-regulation, while deniers of renouncing entitled pensions remain within legal bounds.

Back in 2011, Christofias' government proposed a bill regulating double pensions, but it was later deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2014.

The court emphasized the sanctity of property rights, defending a pension as an acquired asset through work. The ongoing practice of simultaneous pension and salary payments to retired officials in state positions post-retirement is rooted in this logic.

To grasp the issue's true dimensions, focus should shift to the state's failure to regulate this moral matter, instead of blaming recipients. A group of 50 individuals challenged the Supreme Court in 2014, arguing for their entitlement to earned pensions.

While the court's decision caused frustration, the reasoning behind the appeal emphasized, "I worked for this money, and I am entitled to it."

However, concern arises from officials who resist criticism and may hold the key to a definitive solution. A notable case involves a party leader and sitting MP who, upon receiving ministerial pension entitlement, proposed donating it to charities.

The General Accounting Office's response highlights the complexity of the matter, suggesting the need for a comprehensive solution. The Accountant General seeks the Legal Service's opinion, referencing their 2017 consultation on Kostas Clerides for historical context.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  pension  |  economy  |  salary  |  work

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