The Lower House and the Senate were at loggerheads on Sunday over the new pension wages legislation, with lawmakers digging in their heels on the issue of linking pension benefits in case of early retirement with the rate of inflation, an article rejected by the Senate members.
In a session, chaired by Speaker Saad Hayel Srour and attended by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and cabinet members, the House endorsed some amendments in the bill proposed by the Senate.
But before the House's passage of the Social Security Law and during the debate on the article linking the early retirement salary with inflation rates, the prime minister warned MPs not to endorse the article "out of concern over the Social Security Corporation's (SSC) funds." He called it the most serious article in the law, adding that its endorsement would jeopardize the SSC.
Ensour said there is nothing called "early retirement" in the world. Early retirement in all world countries means retiring at the age of 60 years, he added, cautioning that pegging the retirement salary to inflation rates would signal the depletion in SSC resources, starting from 2025.
"In my name and on behalf of the Council of Ministers and the SSC, I note and draw the House's attention that a drain in the SSC funds is not in the interest of the country's people. The SSC money is not a treasury property, but is for the citizens and that we are duty-bound to protect it," he told the lawmakers.