The refusal to grant pension due to nationality is contrary with the ECHR
Ribać v. Slovenia 5.12.2017 (no. 57101/10)
Pension. Refusal by the authorities to grant pension for a specific period to a person who did not have the Slovenian citizenship at that time. Double violation of the ECHR. Infringement of the prohibition of discrimination and the right to property protection.
Article 1 of the First Additional Protocol
The applicant, Aranđel Ribać, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1942 and lives in Maribor
(Slovenia). The case concerned the authorities’ refusal to grant him an old-age pension between
November 1998 and April 2003.
Mr Ribać was a citizen of Serbia within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the SFRY) but has
been residing in Slovenia since 1964. He was an officer in active military service in the Yugoslav
People’s Army until September 1991, when he retired. In February 1992 he applied for an advance
of his military pension under the relevant Ordinance enacted in 1992 by the Republic of Slovenia,
which in June 1991 had become independent from the SFRY. By a decision of May 1993 the
Slovenian pension authorities found that he had been entitled to such an advance, starting from
In October 1998 the pension authorities issued a decision not to convert Mr Ribać’s advance on his
military pension into an old-age pension – under an Act on the Rights Stemming from the Pension
and Disability Insurance of Former Military Personnel enacted in 1998 – on the grounds that he did
not fulfil the statutory conditions. His advance was accordingly suspended. The authorities dismissed
his appeal in September 2002, holding that he could not be a beneficiary as he did not have
Slovenian citizenship and did not comply with the requirements applicable to foreign beneficiaries.
He subsequently acquired Slovenian citizenship and was granted an old-age pension as from April
An application for judicial review of the 2002 decision which Mr Ribać had lodged in the meantime
was dismissed by the labour and social court in January 2006. His appeals were dismissed and the
Constitutional Court eventually decided, in March 2010, not to accept his constitutional complaint
Mr Ribać complained that the refusal to grant him an old-age pension between November 1998 and
April 2003 on the grounds that he had not had Slovenian citizenship had been in breach of Article 14
(prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of
THE DECISION OF THE COURT….
Violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
Just satisfaction: EUR 37,000 (pecuniary damage), EUR 5,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and
EUR 3,570 (costs and expenses)(echrcaselaw.com editing).