The Court ratifies that the retired pastor should not receive the full pension, because “he did not demonstrate the development of a pastoral activity in a stable and remunerated way”
The Spanish Constitutional Court, has denied that there is legal discrimination against a pastor who has only obtained 94% of the retirement pension he was claiming.
In its verdict, the Court considered that the evangelical pastor did not demonstrate “the development of a pastoral activity in a stable and remunerated way” before 1986, the year since his work was recognized, despite the fact that he claimed to have worked as a pastor since 1974.
Although at first a Social Court of the Spanish city of Cádiz recognized in 2016 that he was entitled to 100% of his pension based on the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in a similar case, later the Andalusian Superior Court of Justice revoked the resolution and, last year, the Social Chamber of the Supreme Court rejected the appeal.
Now, the Constitutional Court has ratified that, because, although the pastor worked as such since 1974, “there is no reference that he did so with full dedication and receiving compensation before 1986”.
According to the, Constitutional Court, “salary is a necessary requirement for inclusion in the Social Security General Scheme, as is the case with Catholic priests”.
“Trying to dispense the appellant from this requirement, might make a difference between him and the ministers of other religious groups which is not rationa”, the Court stressed.
The Spanish government accepted a recommendation on this issue raised by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), at the suggestion of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, at United Nations Human Rights Council’s 44th sessions.
The WEA urged “Spain to implement the recommendation that was accepted to ensure freedom of religion or belief, both in law and in practice, to members of religious minorities, with a view to realizing the right to social security for all including protestant ministers who do not have access to the pension system” .
In a brief answer to the WEA, Spain’s representative Cristóbal González-Aller Jurado, accepted the recommendation, stating that “since 1999 all religious ministers of all the churches that belog to Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain (FEREDE) were definitively incorporated into the Social Security Scheme”.
He also pointed out that “a normative is being prepared for the pastors who were not able to pay contributions” for their pensions.