UHHRU Lawyers Won Another Case against the Pension Fund. This Time in Kyiv

Lawyers of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union helped the woman to defend her right to a retirement pension illegally denied by the Pension Fund of the city of Kyiv. The judgment was made in favor of the pensioner. The Pension Fund of Ukraine once again lost the case to the UHHRU lawyers!

Mrs. Maryna worked as a nurse in the intensive care unit of a hospital and later as a psychologist in several psychiatric and neuropsychiatric institutions for a long time. When it was time to retire, she decided to get documents done to receive a retirement pension to which she was legally entitled. According to Ukrainian legislation, employment in psychiatric institutions and hospitals shall be counted in double. The woman turned to the Pension Fund in Shevchenkivskyi District of the city of Kyiv with the relevant documents. But her appeal was rejected because of the alleged lack of the length of special employment stipulated by the law and the fact that the position of a “psychologist” is not included in the list of positions that give the right to a retirement pension according to the respective Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (No. 909 dd. 11/04/1995).

The reason for refusal was inaccurate terminology. Mrs. Maryna’s workbook says that she worked as a “psychologist”, while the Pension Fund requires records of “doctor-psychologist” or “practicing psychologist” in order to count the length of employment in double. However, this “inaccuracy” happened through no fault of the woman. In 2008, according to the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the name of the position of “psychologist” was replaced with “doctor-psychologist” or “practical psychologist” (Order “On amendments to the Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine No. 33 dd. 02/23/2000”). However, the employer did not make appropriate corrections in Mrs. Maryna’s workbook. The Pension Fund did not want to immerse into such details to understand the situation.

Seeking help, the woman appealed to the UHHRU reception office in Kyiv. Lawyers of the reception office were able to prove that when holding the position of a psychologist in hospitals, Mrs. Marina performed duties of a “practicing psychologist” and received wages as a medical worker – as recorded in her workbook.

“As of its nature, Mrs. Maryna’s work as a psychologist in hospitals falls under the list of establishments and positions that give the right to a retirement pension. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 60 of the Law of Ukraine “On Pensions”, work in pathological, anatomical and intensive care units, as well as in mental health facilities shall be counted in the length of employment in double. Accordingly, Mrs. Maryna has over 25 years of special work experience, so there is every reason to receive a retirement pension”, says Anna Yushchenko, lawyer of the public reception office of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union in Kyiv.

The arguments presented by the lawyers of the reception office proved convincing for Shevchenkivskyi District Court of the city of Kyiv. The Court sustained Mrs. Maryna’s claim and ordered the Pension Fund of Ukraine in the city of Kyiv to grant a retirement pension.

P.S. Unfortunately, this is not an alone case where the Pension Fund of Ukraine artificially creates difficulties and obstacles for retiring citizens, although it was established to solve such issues. Public reception offices of the UHHRU regularly receive appeals for legal advice on various issues of retiring. We have already written how The Pension Fund of Lviv refused to recalculate a woman’s pension without good reason and artificially demanded a non-existing certificate. The Pension Fund in Rivne refused to grant a special retirement pension to a man, etc. It is obvious that system changes are required.

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