Colombia’s Constitutional Court put a “historic” cap on pensions for justices and congressmen, making an end to pensions of more than $200,000 received by some retired officials.
The high court did so by declaring a 1992 law that had created exceptions for justices and lawmakers enjoying a state pension unconstitutional.
The now-abolished state pension system cost the Colombian tax payer approximately $87 billion a year, according to the country’s government.
From now on, all former state officials are allowed a pension of no more than 25 times minimum wage, or $96,000 a year.
The court was asked to rule on the exceptional pensions by two attorneys who had claimed the law violated the right to equality of all Colombians, whose lower state officials weren’t allowed the same exceptions as congressmen and justices.
For example, a state official’s pension is commonly set taking into account the income he had over the ten years before retiring. In the case of congressmen and justices the height of their pension depended on their last earned wage.
The exception led in some of the high courts to what became known as “pension carrousels” that allowed the privileged state officials to briefly hold one of the best-paid jobs before retiring, passing the position to the next one to retire.