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Service Pensions

Manual

Contact Details:
Department of Social Security
Service Pensions Section
38, Ordinance Street
Valletta VLT 1021

Email: servicepensions.dss@gov.mt
Contact Number: Freephone 153

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the manual is updated, public officers are nonetheless requested to refer to the Pensions Ordinance (Cap.93.) of the Laws of Malta, the provisions of which will prevail.

The above also applies to the following:

  • Members of the Police Force are to refer to the Police Act (Cap.164.)
  • Members of the Armed Forces of Malta are to refer to the Malta Armed Forces Act (Cap.220.)
  • Members of the Civil Protection are to refer to the Civil Protection Act (Cap.411.)
  • Widows of Public Officers are to refer to the Widows and Orphans Pension Act (Cap.58.)
  • Members of Parliament are to refer to the Members of Parliament Act (Cap.280.)
  • Members of the Judiciary are to refer to the Members of the Judiciary (Pensions) Act (Cap.564.)

Table of Content

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Preface

How to Use this Manual

Who can Benefit from a Service Pension?

What is the Amount of Service Pension granted?

Basis for the Award of a Service Pension

Bonus and Income Supplement

Commuted Service Pension

Computation of Service Pension

Eligibility for a Service Pension

Full Service Pension

Reckonable Service for Pension purposes

Retirement Date

Pensionable Officers Employed with Entities

Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension

Work after the Award of a Service Pension

Preface

Officers who joined the Public Service of Malta before 15th January 1979 and were appointed to a pensionable office, and are eligible according to law, are entitled to a Service Pension when they retire from the public service.

This manual brings together in a user-friendly format, the salient points of the legal instrument namely, The Pensions Ordinance Chapter 93 of the Laws of Malta, on which the policy is based and the relevant procedures to be followed for the award of a Service Pension.

This manual will be kept updated with any amendments made to the law or the procedures that are followed.

How to Use this Manual

This manual is intended to inform officers entitled to a service pension of their rights and entitlements, and the obligations that must be fulfilled in order to be granted this pension.

It may also serve as a management tool for Human Resources Managers to prepare pension papers and compute pensions of officers entitled to a Service Pension.

Who can Benefit from a Service Pension?

Those who qualify for a Service Pension are:

  1. Government officers appointed to the public service before the 15th of January 1979 where an officer means a person substantively appointed to an office in respect of which a pension may be granted under the Pensions Ordinance
  2. Members of the Police Force, Armed Forces of Malta, Civil Protection, and Correctional Services officers
  3. Widows of Public Service officials in a pensionable post who were contributors in this voluntary Widow’s pension scheme
  4. Members of Parliament
  5. Members of the Judiciary and the Attorney General
  6. Secretary to the Cabinet
  7. Permanent Secretaries

Public officers as per (a.) above, qualify only if they were employed with public service before the 15th of January 1979 and the service rendered was continuous.

The pension is awarded as a result of dedicated and loyal service. In cases where service is deemed to be inferior, the pension awarded may be granted at a reduced rate.

What is the Amount of Service Pension granted?

The pension awarded cannot be more than twothirds (⅔) of the highest salary ever received by the public official.

For example, in the case of a public official who has a salary of €14,000 and thirty years or more reckonable service, his/her pension would be €9,333.33.

(30 years x 12 months) / 540 x €14,000 = €9,333.33 (Full Pension – Two-Thirds)

Basis for the Award of a Service Pension

Purpose

To outline the criteria required for the grant of a pension.

Policy

The pension is calculated on the salary pertaining to a post within the public service. If the person applying for a pension is receiving an allowance, the allowance may be added to the salary for the calculation of the pension on a personal basis, provided that the allowance is a pensionable allowance.

Eligibility

A full pension is awarded after 30 years of continuous service.

Clarification

The pension is not awarded by right. The pension/gratuity can be suspended or reduced by the President of Malta’s approval in cases of negligence, irregularities, or misconduct.

Bonus and Income Supplement

Purpose

To outline the bi-annual payment procedure of the bonus and income supplement payable to pensioners receiving a Service pension.

Procedure

The Service Pension pays two-income supplements, one in March and the other in September. Each payment amounts to €81.16.

The Service Pension also pays a bonus of €135.10, twice a year, in June and December.

Eligibility

The bonus and income supplement are due to those pensioners who receive a Service pension but do not receive a Social Security pension.

Clarification

Pensioners who have a full-time job or are self-occupied are not entitled to the bonus and income supplement. These are to be paid by their employer.

Commuted Service Pension

Purpose

When pensioners choose also to have a gratuity their pension is reduced by a quarter, which in turn, is converted into a gratuity.

Policy

The gratuity is composed of a quarter of the pension, multiplied by twelve and a half times. This is a set rate and cannot be changed.

Example:

€9,022.22 (⅔ pension) x ¾ = €6,766.67 (Commuted Pension)

€9,022.22 – €6,766.67 = €2,255.55 x 12.5 = €28,194.44 (gratuity)

Procedure

What is to be done by the employee’s department?

Pension and gratuity papers of officers retiring on attaining the age limit are to be forwarded to Service Pensions Section at the Department of Social Security by their respective Department not later than three (3) months before the date of retirement. The form to be used for the award of pensions and gratuities is Form GP 61. The employee’s department must ensure that Form GP 61 is correctly filled in and signed by both the head of the department and by the official who is to retire. This form is to be accompanied by a declaration that the individual does not have any pending disciplinary cases. It is important that with these documents the department includes the choice of the individual, if to have a pension and a gratuity or only a pension (this can only be done by the retiring official) as explained in the following paragraph.

What is to be done by the employee, to start receiving a service pension?

Retiring officials must declare in writing if they are opting for a full pension (two-thirds of their salary) or if they would like to commute part of the pension as permitted by the Pensions Ordinance. This choice can only be changed up to the eve of their retirement date. If the retiring officials make their declaration for a change in option in the established period and their plea for change is accepted by the President of Malta, this choice can be accepted up to the date of the award of the pension.

Clarification

Granting of gratuity instead of a pension: In case the death of an eligible official occurs before he or she has made the choice, the President may still approve the award of a gratuity that the deceased would have been entitled to. The gratuity is presented to the legal heirs of the deceased official.

Computation of Service Pension

Purpose

To outline the method of calculating the pension granted to retiring officers, in various circumstances.

Policy

The pension is calculated on the last annual salary of the retiring official.

The average salary of the last three years: In the case that there has been a change in the grade of the official in the last three years, the average salary is taken for the calculation of the pension. If the average is less than the salary the employee had before the change in grade, the pension is computed on the salary received before the change in grade.

Pension in cases of reinstatement: If a person who retired from the public service and was receiving a regular pension, resumes working with the service, a new pension and/or gratuity can be awarded as a result of this reinstatement. This pension is based on the whole reckonable service both before the break-in service and after. The amount of the gratuity already awarded is subtracted from the new gratuity.

Clarifications

Pension of certain public officers:

The following officers:

  1. Cabinet Secretary
  2. Permanent Secretary
  3. Headship positions under a performance agreement
  4. Ambassador, High Commissioner or other principal representatives of Malta in any other country, when appointed from the public service in terms of the proviso to Article 111(1) of the Constitution of Malta and provided that, before such appointment, the holder of any of the said offices was eligible for appointment as a head of a department of Government in terms of Article 92(4) of the Constitution of Malta shall, subject to creditable performance, be entitled to a pension based on the higher of:
    1. the salary attached to the position held under a performance agreement by that officer on retirement provided that the officer has served for a period of one (1) year in that position immediately before retirement.
      Or
    2. the salary attached to any position, higher than the substantive grade, which the officer previously held for at least three (3) years under a performance agreement.

In cases where (i) and (ii) are not applicable, the pension will be based on the salary attached to the substantive grade of the officer on retirement.

Creditable performance for Heads of Department and Permanent Secretaries must be certified by the Principal Permanent Secretary.

Eligibility for a Service Pension

Purpose

To specify who qualifies for a service pension.

Policy

Officers who qualify for a service pension are:

  1. Government officer appointed to the public service before the 15th of January 1979 where an officer means a person substantively appointed to an office in respect of which a pension may be granted under the Pensions Ordinance
  2. Police, AFM personnel, Correctional Services officials, and members of the Civil Protection,
  3. Widows of Public Service officials in a pensionable post who were contributors in this voluntary Widow’s and Orphan’s pension scheme
  4. Members of Parliament
  5. Members of the Judiciary and the Attorney General
  6. Secretary to the Cabinet
  7. Permanent Secretaries

Public officers as per (a) above are eligible to receive a service pension only if they were employed with the government before 15th January 1979 and the service rendered was continuous.

Procedure

The pension awarded cannot exceed two-thirds of the highest salary ever received by the officer.

A worked example of the pension to be granted to an officer who has a salary of €14,000 and has thirty years or more reckonable service with the government, is as follows:

(30 years x 12 months) / 540 x €14,000 = €9,333.33 (Full Pension – Two-Thirds)

Clarification

The pension is awarded as a result of dedicated and loyal service. When the service rendered by a public officer is deemed to be unsatisfactory, the pension may be computed at a reduced rate.

Full Service Pension

Purpose

To outline the instances when a full pension may be granted.

Policy

A full pension may be awarded when:

  1. Eligible public officers on reaching their 60th or any further birthdays up to their 65th
  2. Members of the Police Force, Armed Forces of Malta, Civil Protection Officers and Correctional Service Officers who complete twenty-five years in service
  3. A pensionable public officer is found unfit for work by a medical panel on completion of thirty years in service
  4. Members of Parliament, after serving more than 2 legislatures
  5. Members of the Judiciary and the Attorney General after completing 10 years in service
  6. Secretary to the Cabinet having at least 10 years of service with the Civil Service of which at least 1 term in such position
  7. Permanent Secretaries having at least 10 years of service with the Civil Service of which at least 1 term in such position

Clarification

A full pension consists of two-thirds of the last pay that an employee receives before retiring. Employees are only eligible for a full pension if they have completed thirty years of service with the government. If the reckonable service is less than thirty years, then the pension is calculated on a pro-rata basis. In the case of Police Force, AFM, Civil Protection and Correctional Services personnel, where the reckonable service is more than ten years but less than twenty-five years, then the pension is also calculated on a pro-rata basis. In the above cases, if the reckonable service is less than ten years then the retiring official is not eligible for a pension.

Procedure

A worked example of the pension to be granted to an officer who has a salary of €14,000 and has twenty-nine years’ service with the government, is as follows:

(29 years x 12 months) / 540 x €14,000 = €9,022.22

Reckonable Service for Pension purposes

Purpose

To explain when service is considered to be reckonable for pension purposes.

Policy

Reckonable service commences on the day when the pensionable public officer begins to receive salary.

Procedure

Service reckonable for pension purposes:

  1. All the period of service that is remunerated
  2. Absences from work on paid leave or absence from work on unpaid leave, on grounds of public policy
  3. Period of dismissal if it is determined that the dismissal was invalid

Clarification

Service is deducted in the following instances:

  1. Periods of leave without pay
  2. Absences due to industrial action and strikes
  3. A period of service worked by the employee before reaching the age of 18
  4. When employees were occupying a temporary post, the service is calculated from the date of first employment where the employee worked fifty per cent or more of the working days within a twelve-month period

Retirement Date

Purpose

To determine the retirement date of an officer.

Policy

If employees chose to work until the age of sixty, the last day of work should be a day before their sixtieth birthday. This applies also if employees are on leave, pre-retirement or on sick leave.

Otherwise, employees can retire in any other future day, in consideration with other employment regulations.

Pensionable Officers Employed with Entities

Purpose

To determine eligible officers who are employed with a Government entity.

Policy

When a pensionable officer takes up full employment with a Government entity, the employment of that officer shall be considered service with the Government for pension purposes. These officers shall be entitled to a pension and gratuity under the Pensions Ordinance upon termination of service with the entity as if the service was service with the Government. These entities must contribute to the Government the difference between the pension and gratuity payable at the time of retirement and the pension and gratuity computed had the pensioner retired while still in Government service.

Clarification

Public officers who are detailed with a Government entity and who take up permanent employment with the same entity shall have their pension based on the salary of the government service grade analogous to the grade last held with the entity, provided that this grade does not exceed Salary Scale 3 in the Public Service.

A classification board shall be set up to classify posts with the entity to their corresponding post in the Public Service according to established criteria such as job description, skills, responsibilities etc. The classification shall, in each case, be subject to the final approval of the Minister responsible for Social Security.

Officers who do not take up permanent employment with the entity shall have their pension based on their last substantive grade with the Government.

Widow’s and Orphan’s Pension

Purpose

To outline the eligibility requirements for the payment of the Voluntary Widow’s and Orphan’s Pension Scheme and the amount payable.

Eligibility

Only public officers who contributed voluntary towards the Widow’s and Orphan’s scheme up to 30th April 1979 could benefit from this pension. The widow and children of public officers who occupied a pensionable post and contributed voluntary to the Widow’s and Orphan’s scheme are entitled to this pension. Contributors to this voluntary scheme who were confirmed as pensionable on a personal basis also qualify for this pension.

Procedure

The pension is payable to the widow of the contributor and the children of the widow or in some cases children of the deceased from a previous marriage, where these dependants are under eighteen years of age.

Calculation of this voluntary Widow’s & Orphan’s Pension Scheme is done only when the said pensioner has passed away. To formulate the amount of this voluntary pension, calculations are done using the age of the pensioner in question, the number of years in marriage and the date of Death.

The amount of Pension that the widow receives cannot exceed €77.00c per month. This amount is awarded over and above the Social Security pension.

Work after the Award of a Service Pension

Purpose

To give details of the pension due to officers who retire before sixty years of age and perform work against payment.

Policy

Pensionable officers who retire on the recommendation of a medical board and take up paid employment between the retirement date and their sixtieth birthday will have their pension reduced.

The income from further employment being received together with the pension must not exceed the pay the officer would have received had s/he remained in government employment. The pension is reduced according to how much the total income received from employment and pension exceeds the officer’s last pay.

Nonetheless, the pensioner is entitled to a minimum of €116.47 per year. When the pensioner reaches the age of sixty, s/he is entitled to a full pension.

Clarification

The above policy does not apply to members of the Police Force, the Armed Forces of Malta, the Correctional Services, or the Civil Protection who have reached fifty-five years of age or have completed twenty-five years’ service. However, officers in these disciplinary forces who have not completed twenty-five years’ service or have not yet reached their fifty-fifth birthday, and retire on medical grounds, and then take up paid employment, will have their pension reduced as outlined above.

Procedure

Service Pensions Section must be informed if the pensioner is performing work with pay before the age of 60 years. In cases of Police, AFM, Civil Protection and Correctional Services pensioners, the Service Pensions Section must be informed if the pensioner is performing work with pay, before the age of 55 years or until the pensioner would have completed 25 years in the service, depending on which comes first.

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