Sixth GMS Court Case
ANON & GMS vs. SVB CURACAO
ADMINISTRATIVE COURT CURACAO
Theme: Old Age Pension is guaranteed minimum income; reductions are illegal
The Curaçao government recently adopted a law cutting the Old Age Pensions of non-residents by 10%. This basically is theft, because these pensioners always paid their premiums in accordance with the law. The fact that some of them have decided to go live abroad is no reason to cut their pensions. This law creates discrimination between residents and non-residents, who have paid exactly the same premiums.
Also the Old Age Pension entitlement is considered a property right as referred to in art. 1 First Protocol of the European Convention for Human Rights (ECHR). In principle nobody can be (partially) deprived of this right, unless this can be justified. Obviously the petitioners claim that the cut is not justified, whereas the government holds a different view.
The government claims that it has to cut pensions to be able to guarantee the survival of the Old Age Pension system. The point is that when the government has to economize, it should NOT cut pensions, but get the money from those who have it. Pensioners do not have it. In fact they are generally ‘have-nots’. Their pensions are already far below the national minimum standard of living.
As the SVB is the organization in charge of implementing the social security laws, the defendant in this case is the SVB-Curaçao. However, the object of this test case is the underlying law itself which is in violation of internationally recognized human rights.
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