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Gridlock over social security bill ends with scrapping of lawmakers’ coverage provision


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The Senate and the Lower House ended weeks of gridlock in their joint session on Thursday by scrapping a proposed article in the Social Security Law granting coverage for lawmakers in retirement benefits, and endorsing the bill as amended by the Senate. 
In its final version, senators and MPs will not be covered by social security and as such, voluntary subscription fees will be deducted from the monthly allowance of parliament members, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.  
Parliament recommended that the government conduct a study on the inclusion of the senators and MPs under the umbrella of the social security, in adherence to current legislation and by-laws. 
On August 25, MPs passed the 2019 amendments to the Social Security Law, raising the age of early retirement and endorsing pension benefits for themselves as well as senators.
Under the aforementioned amendments, deputies and senators would have been eligible for old-age, disability and death insurances, with deductions calculated according to their monthly stipends.
On August 29, the Senate scrapped the article entitling the lawmakers to old-age, disability and death insurances.
The Upper House, which endorsed the remainder of the 2019 amendments to the bill as referred by the Lower House, rejected MPs’ subscription amendment to its deviation from the original objectives of the law, noting that removing the provision in question would bear no effect on the right to voluntary subscription, which is available for lawmakers without Parliament having to incur further costs. 
Senators also argued that the article revokes the notion of the allowance that is granted to MPs from monthly allocations.
Meanwhile, the deputies insisted on adding the article, saying that everyone, including MPs, have the right to social security, and pointing out that not allowing MPs to subscribe to social security benefits would potentially make running for elections exclusive for the affluent.

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