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A Step Towards Reducing Severance Pay For Politicians

State deputies adopted a proposal to reduce the retirement severance pay for politicians from BAM 30,000 to 10,000. In addition to high severance pay, the current regulations allow them to receive both the pension and salary.

The severance pay paid to politicians upon their retirement could be cut three-fold. This proposal was supported by the deputies in the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina (PABiH), but its adoption requires support from the delegates in the House of Peoples. This was confirmed by Damir Arnaut, a representative of Naša stranka (NS) [Our Party], who proposed the amendment.

The retirement severance is an equivalent to six average salaries and is paid to help workers transition to retirement after the decades of service. Due to high average salaries – around BAM 4,800 – nearly BAM 30,000 is set aside for the severance pay of one elected and appointed official in state institutions.

As explained by Arnaut, the unjustifiably high severance pay is completely disproportionate to the economic and social situation in BiH.

Elected and appointed officials, as well as other employees of state institutions, are entitled to severance packages based on the Law on Salaries and Remunerations in the Institutions of BiH and the Decision on eligibility for severance pay upon retirement from institutions of BiH.

Arnaut proposed amendments to the law limiting the severance pay to 12 average net salaries from the previous year so that the maximum amount of severance pay would be BAM 10,728.

Dragan Čović, Bakir Izetbegović, Mirko Šarović, Dragan Mektić, Lazar Prodanović, and Nikola Špirić have exercised their right to severance pay in March 2022. Having collected severance pay, they resumed their work in the PABiH. They are also allowed to receive a pension.

Arnaut calculated that at least 17 elected and appointed officials serving the term from 2018 to 2022 will meet the conditions for retirement, and thus for fabulous severance pay.

Severance packages for hardworking retirees
Six state MPs have acquired the right to the compensation to be paid upon retirement, but they will continue working and receiving a salary because the regulations allow them to receive both the salary and the pension at the same time.

Nikola Špirić from the Savez nezavisnih socijaldemokrata (SNSD) [Alliance of Independent Social Democrats] (SNSD) and his colleagues from the delegate benches will have the opportunity to change the law. Namely, in late March this year, he said that he would do it if he had the opportunity. However, was not honest. Indeed, he had the opportunity to do it several times, but he always voted against it.

“If Nikola Špirić could change the laws himself – the law would be changed,” he told on N1 television.

Nikola Špirić Says One Thing and Does Another
Six state MPs who qualified for high pension severance pay had the opportunity during their terms to change the law that allows them this perk. Nikola Špirić, Lazar Prodanović and Dragan Čović voted against.

CIN wrote earlier about nearly BAM 440,000 in severance being paid to 15 officials of the Parliament, Council of Ministers, and the BiH Presidency in 11 years. Most of them resumed their work after they received the severance packages.

Among them are parliamentarians from the current convocation: Jakov Galić, Bariša Čolak, Sredoje Nović, Dušanka Majkić and Nebojša Radmanović, but also from former convocations: Mirsad Mešić, Krstan Simić, Boško Tomić, Petar Kunić and Beriz Belkić.

Former member of the Presidency of BiH, Nebojša Radmanović was paid the most money. In 2014, he received a severance package of BAM 34,130. Thereafter he continued working, first as a delegate in the House of Peoples and then as a representative in the House of Representatives. By the end of February this year, he earned more than BAM 480,000.

Unlike officials in BiH institutions, employees in the entities are not entitled to such material security because there are no general collective agreements in the entities that would give them the right to severance pay upon retirement. The regulations in force are less favorable and treat the severance pay differently in the Federation of BiH and RS.

Retirement Severance as Pocket Money for Officials
During the past decade, almost BAM 440 thousand was paid as retirement severance to fifteen BiH politicians in three state institutions. However, most of them continued working and receiving salaries in addition to their retirement benefits.

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