EC asks Malta to stop cuts to EU civil service pensions

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EC asks Malta to stop cuts to EU civil service pensionsThe European Commission has requested Malta to stop reducing Maltese old-age pensions by the amount of civil servant pensions received from other Member States.

Maltese legislation provides that Maltese statutory old-age pensions are partly decreased by the sum of service pensions paid for past services in Malta or abroad.

Such a practice breaches social security coordination rules of the European Union as all pensions based on national legislation, such as civil service pensions, fall under the protection of the EU rules on social security coordination. This prohibits the application of national rules on suspension and reduction of benefits to a pension calculated under social security coordination rules.

The request takes the form of a ‘reasoned opinion’ under EU infringement procedures. Malta now has two months to inform the Commission of measures it has taken to bring its legislation into line with EU law. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer Malta to the EU’s Court of Justice.

EU social security coordination rules (Regulation EC No 883/2004 and formerly Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71) concern social security benefits and under these rules, EU citizens have the same rights and obligations as nationals of the country where they are covered.

All pensions based on national legislation, such as civil service pensions, fall under the protection of these rules.

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