More protection to the workers of the disciplined bodies and their families.
The concept of service pension up to a maximum of five years has been introduced to the widows of officers in the disciplined forces who have been missing either before completing 25 years of service or in the period between the completion of service and retirement age.
This measure complements several other measures that have been taken in the last months and years that strengthen the rights and conditions of the workers of the disciplined bodies, while also offering more protection to their family members. Therefore, through this measure, another measure of the electoral manifesto was implemented.
In a news conference addressed by the Minister for Social Policy and Children’s Rights, Michael Falzon, and by the Minister for the Interior, Security, Reforms and Equality, Byron Camilleri, in Academy of the Disciplined Forces, it was explained that currently the widows of officers who have been missing either before completing 25 years of service or in the period between the end of service and retirement age, do not benefit from any financial protection for the service they have performed, except for financial incentives for those who have been absent as a consequence of the function of performing their duties.
It was explained that the need for this measure was felt because until today, the family of the person who provided a service and has been missing considers that the service has been lost, even if they have faced the realities that the work in a disciplined body, together with the worker. Accordingly, a service pension is being given to the widow or widower, according to the years of service that the deceased officer has served (at least 10 years) but according to the proportion on which it is worked, up to a maximum of five years which do not exceed the statutory retirement age at which the deceased official would have retired.
This temporary service pension is paid in addition to the social security widow’s pension, always in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security Act and any adjustments that may need to be made. This measure will come into force retroactively from 1 January 2022.
Minister Byron Camilleri explained that this measure complements other initiatives that this government has made for the disciplined bodies, including strengthening the pension as announced a few days ago, the Occupational Personal Benefit Accident Scheme and the number of ‘ collective agreements that have been signed in recent years for the workers of the disciplined bodies. “When a worker dedicates his life to service, he is not the only one who makes several sacrifices in order to fulfill his or her role, but also those closest to him or her. We understand how sometimes the service requested by these workers can be dangerous, stressful and challenging. Therefore, through a strong social measure, we are extending the service pension to widows because we need to extend protection not only to workers, but also to their family members,” said Minister Camilleri.
Minister Michael Falzon said that this government was, still is, and will remain the social soul of this country, in order to help and improve people’s lives consistently. He explained that once again, appropriate recognition will be given to the people who work in the service, where year after year, these people continued to benefit from improved benefits and which gives more stability in the long term. “We are here to make a difference in people’s lives. In order to create social justice with the most vulnerable, while giving more positive energy. This government is committed to continuing to change what others have not done for years. The challenges fill us with more courage in order to accomplish more and more and leave a positive stamp in people’s lives”, said Minister Michael Falzon.
Also present for this conference were the union officials who represent all the disciplined bodies.