PETALING JAYA: The government should take immediate steps to resolve the pension claims by a group of ex-judges as it is embarrassing for the matter to be decided by the court, a lawyer said.
A Srimurugan said the suit by retired judges over pension claims was unprecedented and may give rise to a perception that judges who hear the matter may have a pecuniary interest in the outcome.
Srimurugan said the Pensions Department should prepare a paper and present it to the Cabinet for immediate approval.
Two weeks ago, 28 former judges and seven dependents of deceased judges filed a suit, calling for their pension payment to be adjusted based on current salaries of serving judges.
The problem arose when the government in 2015 made a salary revision for judges providing a higher pension plus a 2% annual increment for those who retired after the amendment. However, those who retired before 2015 continued to receive pensions based on their old salary plus a 2% annual rise.
The plaintiffs now want a declaration that the amendment is in breach of a constitutional provision that judges’ remuneration and other terms of office, including pension rights, should not be altered to their disadvantage after appointment.
Another lawyer, Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar al-Mahdzar, said the matter should be settled without contest as the financial implication is not big as it involved about 100 ex-judges and dependents.
He said the suit by the plaintiffs’ were similar to the one filed by a group of retired civil servants who obtained a judgment in their favour.
The Court of Appeal declared earlier this month that an amendment to the Pensions Adjustment (Amendment) Act was unconstitutional and that any new pension scheme could not be less favourable than the earlier pension scheme.