Honorary service. Pension supplement for people who are over 100 years old – the government is preparing a bill

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In the coming weeks, the government plans to adopt a draft law on the honorary benefit for turning 100 years of age. The project’s assumptions were published on the government website. The benefit is currently paid to seniors under a decision taken by the Prime Minister in 1972. “In the current constitutional reality, the principles and procedure for granting an honorary benefit should be regulated in the act,” it was explained. The aim of the proposed regulation is to provide legal regulation for many years of tradition and – as emphasized – “to ensure certainty and predictability of the legal situation of the oldest part of society”.

The assumptions of the draft act on the honorary benefit for turning 100 years of age were published on the government website on Monday. The body responsible for developing the solution is the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy. The project is to be adopted by the Council of Ministers in the second quarter of this year.

The government explained that “the purpose of the proposed regulation is to legally regulate the long-standing tradition of specially honoring people who are over 100 years of age in the form of granting them an honorary benefit financed by the state budget.”

Read also: This is how much the indexation of pensions will be in 2024. Calculations

As recalled, benefits for people who are over 100 years of age are granted by the President ZUS pursuant to a decision taken by the Prime Minister in 1972. “The justification for its use was confirmed by subsequent ministers responsible for social security. These benefits are treated as exceptional benefits,” it was emphasized.

It was noted that although this practice is well-established and in line with social expectations, “in the current constitutional reality, the principles and procedure for granting an honorary benefit should be regulated in an act, and not in an act of internal law adopted several dozen years ago in a different political system.” .

“The current Constitution, on the one hand, clearly indicates that the orders of the Prime Minister and ministers are of an internal nature and apply only to organizational units subordinate to the body issuing these acts (Article 93(1) of the Constitution), on the other hand – that they cannot constitute the basis for decisions towards citizens (Article 93(2) of the Constitution). As a result, there is currently a significant need for the right to an honorary benefit as an individual’s right to social security benefits, which is decided by a public authority, to be directly and clearly – both in terms of substantive and procedural – regulated in the Act,” the government explained.

It was emphasized that “the proposed regulation is not motivated solely by the desire to ensure full compliance with the Constitution of the established practice in the field of granting honorary benefits.” “The purpose of the proposed regulation is also to ensure certainty and predictability of the legal situation of the oldest part of society,” it was added.

Honorary service – for whom?

According to the assumptions of the project, the right to the benefit will be granted under the existing rules, regardless of the right to retirement and disability benefits.

“In the event of a coincidence of rights to more than one pension benefit in one person, only one honorary benefit would be paid for reaching 100 years of age. In such a case, in the event of a coincidence of rights to benefits that are paid by two pension authorities, -pensions, decisions on the honorary benefit for reaching the age of 100 are issued and the benefit is paid by ZUS,” it was explained.

An honorary benefit for reaching 100 years of age would be due to persons with Polish citizenship who have completed 100 years of age and who are entitled to a pension benefit on the last day of the month preceding the month of payment of this benefit. “It is proposed that the right to an honorary benefit for turning 100 years of age be granted ex officio,” it was noted.

The situation will be different for centenarians who do not receive pension benefits from ZUS or another pension authority. They – just like now – will have to submit an application to ZUS and present a document confirming their date of birth to receive an honorary benefit.

“The honorary benefit would also be available to Polish citizens who do not have the right to pension benefits listed in Article 2 of the proposed act. In these cases, the right to the honorary benefit would be granted upon application,” we read on the government website.

How much is the honorary benefit?

The honorary benefit will not be subject to indexation, which means that once granted, it will be paid in the same amount for the rest of life together with the basic benefit, i.e. pension or an annuity. Its height may vary, it all depends on the so-called base amount, which applies on the senior’s 100th birthday.

Honorary benefit until the end of February this year. amounts to PLN 5,540.25 gross.

The project assumes that the honorary benefit for turning 100 years of age will be subject to taxation on general principles and the health insurance contribution will be deducted from this benefit.

In November last year, ZUS reported that the honorary benefit goes to 2.9 thousand people.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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