MPs on both sides have agreed to pay themselves full pension after just one term

Malta’s MPs want to get full two-thirds pension after serving just one term, and give pro rata full pension to those who serve a partial first term as well

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat shares a light-hearted moment with Labour MPs in the House of Representatives. Alex Muscat (left) and Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi (right) were elected for their first term in 2017
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat shares a light-hearted moment with Labour MPs in the House of Representatives. Alex Muscat (left) and Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi (right) were elected for their first term in 2017

Maltese MPs are preparing to make their twilight years just a little bit sweeter.

A bill tabled in the House to amend laws in connection with upcoming pensions reforms, will allow MPs serving just one legislature to claim a parliamentary pension – instead of serving two five-year terms.

The bill, tabled by economy minister Chris Cardona, ensures a parliamentary pension for MPs who served for at least one legislature, and for Maltese members of the European Parliament to qualify for the same pension.

Unlike common citizens, MPs in Malta are guaranteed a full, uncapped two-thirds of pensionable emoluments. Under the new amendments, which Cardona said were drawn up in agreement with the Opposition, even MEPs will benefit.

Not all Maltese MEPs had signed up for the now-discontinued pension scheme for MEPs. Under the new rules will allow both MEPs who resigned their seat to take up a seat in the Maltese parliament, and MPs who were elected to the European Parliament, will qualify for pensionable service.

Even MPs who serve just part of one legislature will, on retirement, receive a pro rata entitlement. Speakers of the House who are not MPs, will also benefit, as will MPs who are elected after the age of 65.

The new rules also propose that top civil servants, namely the principal permanent secretary, permanent secretaries, Cabinet secretary, Auditor General and deputy Auditor General, and Ombudsman, will be entitled to a service pension under the Pensions Ordinance, notwithstanding that they would have joined the public service before January 1979.

Service pensions – occupational or second-pillar pensions – were ‘outlawed’ in 1979 for all workers in Malta, with the exception of MPs and police officers. In the case of MPs, their service pension is index-linked to future increases in MPs’ honoraria.

That leaves the rest of the working public entitled to a capped contributory social security pension, which means that irrespectively of how high one’s salary is, the maximum annual pension can only be two-thirds of some €20,000 – and therefore not index-linked to future salary increases.

More in National

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe