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Thursday, February 29, 2024

AGC no objection, court grants leave for pension-adjustment bid

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) did not object to a group of retired civil servants obtaining court leave to commence with a legal challenge for the government to adjust pension calculation.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning allowed Aminah Ahmad, who is acting on behalf of 56 other retirees, to proceed with the judicial review, paving the way for a future hearing of the challenge’s merits.

During open-court proceedings before judge Amarjeet Singh, the retirees’ counsel Abd Shukor Ahmad informed that there was no objection raised by AGC, who is acting for the Public Service Department (PSD) director-general and the federal government.

The AGC’s federal counsel Ainna Sherina Saipolamin was present in court.

Amarjeet then granted judicial review leave and set March 14 for case management.

The retirees were also represented by counsel Baljit Singh Sidhu.

Failure to abide by ruling

The retired civil servants hauled the government to court on Jan 12, over the administration’s alleged failure to abide by a landmark apex court ruling nullifying an amended pension law.

According to the application filed by law firm Shukor Baljit & Partners, Aminah seeks an adjustment in line with the formula within Sections 3 and 6 of the Pension Adjustment Act 1980, prior to its amendment under Sections 3 and 7 of the Pensions Adjustment (Amendment) Act 2013.

On Jan 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal declared the amended Sections 3 and 7, which came into effect from Jan 1, 2013, null and void as they contravened Article 147 of the Federal Constitution.

The Federal Court upheld the appellate court ruling in June last year.

Aminah, who retired as a civil servant with the Foreign Ministry, sued the government and the PSD director-general in her personal capacity and on behalf of 56 retired members of the public service.

She claimed the amendments to the act in 2013 resulted in a situation “less favourable” to them compared with the preceding retirement adjustment scheme under the Pensions Adjustment Act 1980.

Under the previous scheme, a retiree’s pension is revised based on the prevailing salary of incumbent civil servants in that grade.

However, the 2013 amendment was introduced based on a flat rate of two percent annual increment. - Mkini

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