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Prison pension blues

Prison work can not be included in future calculations for a retirement pension, an Austrian ex-convict learned today.

In today’s Grand Chamber judgment in the case Stummer v. Austria (application no. 37452/02), which is final, the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been:

No violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) and no violation of Article 4 (prohibition of slavery and forced labour).

The case concerned a former prisoner’s complaint of his non-affiliation to the old-age pension system for work performed in prison and his consequent inability to receive
pension benefits under that scheme.

The applicant, Ernst Stummer, is an Austrian national who was born in 1938 and lives in Vienna. He spent many years of his life in prison, during which he worked for lengthy periods in the prison kitchen or the prison bakery. As a working prisoner, he was not affiliated to the old-age pension system under the General Social Security Act.

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