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How a person from Kherson fought for earned pension
  • Written by Oksana Pastukh, Informational Resource Center “Legal Space”
  • Published in  Success stories
  • 0 comments

Workers of Pension Fund of Ukraine who have to care for citizens and conduct fairly funded pensions, waste their time in courts to prove that the pensioner does not have rights to increase his pension.

During the Soviet times, many people worked hard in hard conditions hoping for good pension in the future. Kherson citizen Volodymyr Mykolayovich knows what working in Sakhalin is like – he worked there for more than 4 years in 1950-s. He retired in 1995, and then found out that work in Sakhalin can be attributed to the employment period on favorable terms which influences the pension’s amount. That is why on February 16, 2011, Mr. Volodymyr applied to the Department of Pension Fund of Ukraine in Kherson to prove that his work in Sakhalin (from 26.10.1951 to 20.05.1955) should be considered as the employment period on favorable terms. Officials declined to increase his pension.

Shocked by such attitude, pensioner brought a suit on the obligations of the Pension Fund Department in Komsomolsk regional court of Kherson on the basis of the application, additional documents of work expertise, and personal registration data in order to increase pension according to the Law of Ukraine “On mandatory state pension insurance” to take into consideration more than 4-year period of work in Sakhalin. Court satisfied his claims. But opponents disagreed and turned to Odesa Administrative Court of Appeal. It left the decision of district court without any changes. But Volodymyr Mykolayovich was surprised when he found out that his visits to courts are not over. Officials from Pension Fund “cheated” so that they will not have to accept their own mistake. In October 2012 they turned to Komsomolsk regional court of Kherson to get explanation on the first court’s decision of June 2011. Meanwhile, official decided to “play” with the content of resolution part of appeal instance. In their application they asked not to consider period from 13.06.1952 to 04.09.1953 as favorable terms, as Mr. Volodymyr was studying at that time. On November 19, 2012, court ruled Additional resolution that changed the previous one so that the period of studying was not considered to be an employment period.

With all these documents, Volodymyr turned to the local Community Law Center for help. He was desperate. But Oleksandra Tokalenko, Center’s lawyer, was positive the Court made a serious mistake. The Court did not possess all relevant information and could not rule in this case.

It is important to note that Volodymyr continued his education without stopping his work. He has a paper to prove that during capacity building trainings he was still employed and received salary for his work. Armed with this information, the Community Law Center lawyer prepared a complaint to Odessa Court of Appeal. The Court ruled in favor of Volodymyr.

Volodymyr has spent almost two years of his life to prove the Pension Fund that he has the right to receive his pension. Without legal help, he would probably stop and leave it as it is, because an ordinary person does not have the required skills to stand up against bureaucracy. Shame on the Pension Fund that tried to deprived an old man of his pension!

Additional Information: Community Law Center in Kherson was established with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of “Rule of law” program. It is administrated by Kherson regional Committee of voters of Ukraine. You can learn more on the Centers’ network activities, basics and principles of work here: www.legalspace.org

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