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Document 62020CN0405

Case C-405/20: Request for a preliminary ruling from the Verwaltungsgerichtshof (Austria) lodged on 28 August 2020 — EB and Others v Versicherungsanstalt öffentlich Bediensteter, Eisenbahnen und Bergbau (BVAEB)

OJ C 378, 9.11.2020, p. 19–20 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

9.11.2020   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 378/19


Request for a preliminary ruling from the Verwaltungsgerichtshof (Austria) lodged on 28 August 2020 — EB and Others v Versicherungsanstalt öffentlich Bediensteter, Eisenbahnen und Bergbau (BVAEB)

(Case C-405/20)

(2020/C 378/23)

Language of the case: German

Referring court

Verwaltungsgerichtshof

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: EB, JS and DP

Defendant: Versicherungsanstalt öffentlich Bediensteter, Eisenbahnen und Bergbau (BVAEB)

Questions referred

1.

Must the limitation of the scope ratione temporis of the requirement of equal treatment for men and women laid down in the judgment in Case C-262/88, Barber(1) as well as in Protocol No 33 concerning Article 157 TFEU and Article 12 of Directive 2006/54/EC (2) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (‘Directive 2006/54/EC’), be interpreted as meaning that an (Austrian) pensioner cannot lawfully rely on the requirement of equal treatment for men and women, or can do so only (in part) in respect of that part of his entitlement that relates to periods of employment after 1 January 1994, in order to claim that he has been discriminated against by rules on an adjustment of civil servants’ pensions laid down for 2018 such as that which was applied in the main proceedings?

2.

Must the requirement of equal treatment for men and women (pursuant to Article 157 TFEU in conjunction with Article 5 of Directive 2006/54/EC) be interpreted as meaning that indirect discrimination such as that which — in some cases — results from the rules, at issue in the main proceedings, concerning the 2018 pension adjustment, even in the light of similar measures adopted previously and the considerable loss caused by the cumulative effect of those measures as compared with an adjustment of the actual value of pensions to take into account inflation (in this instance, a loss of 25 %), is justified in particular

in order to avoid a ‘divide’ between higher and lower pensions (caused by periodic adjustment at a single rate), even though this would be purely nominal and would leave the differential between the two unchanged,

in order to put in place a general ‘social component’ in the form of steps to increase the purchasing power of those on lower pensions, even though (a) that objective could be attained even without limiting the adjustment of higher pensions and (b) the legislature does not also provide for the same type of measure to increase purchasing power when it comes to adjusting for inflation the salaries of lower-paid civil servants (to the detriment of the adjustment applied to the salaries of higher-paid civil servants), and has also not laid down rules for a comparable intervention in the adjustment applied to the value of pensions under other occupational social security schemes (in which the State does not participate) in order to increase the purchasing power of lower pensions (to the detriment of the adjustment of higher pensions),

in order to maintain and finance ‘the scheme’, even though civil service pensions are payable not by an insurer-operated scheme organised in the form of insurance and financed from contributions, but by the Federal Government as employer of retired civil servants and in consideration for work performed, so that the maintenance or financing of a scheme is not decisive, the only relevant considerations, ultimately, being budgetary,

because the fact that the statistically much higher representation of men among recipients of higher pensions is to be regarded as the consequence of the lack of equal opportunities for women in matters of employment and occupation that was typical in the past in particular, constitutes an independent ground of justification or (upstream of that) rules out from the outset any assumption of indirect discrimination on grounds of sex, within the meaning of Directive 2006/54/EC, to the detriment of men, or

because the scheme is permissible as positive action for the purposes of Article 157(4) TFEU.


(1)  Judgment of 17 May 1990, C-262/88, EU:C:1990:209.

(2)  Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast) (OJ 2006 L 204, p. 23).


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