Sweden to scale down political pensions

Swedish MPs and politicians at top county and municipal levels will see their pension benefits cut in the future, after concerns that too many were cashing in on an early-retirement clause.

Sweden to scale down political pensions

New rules being hammered out by the parliamentary fees office (Riksdagens arvodesnämnd) would mean that politicians in the Riksdag receive a pension for only two years after they leave elected office, according to Sveriges Television (SVT).

SVT reviewed the pensions system in detail in 2011, causing many to question why millions of kronor were being paid out to former politicians who were still young enough to find gainful employment.

The new rules will dictate that MPs must have worked in parliament for eight years before being eligible for a pension.

The new rules will not, however, be retroactive. Before they are put in place in 2014, all politicians will qualify for the old system.

Politicians elected after that date, however, will be subject to the new regulations, reports SVT.

Sources told SVT last year that the two biggest parties in parliament, the Moderates and the Social Democrats, were the most resistant to changing the framework.

TT/The Local/at

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Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy

Multiple political parties in Sweden's parliament want to ban so-called conversion therapy, which aims to change young LGBT+ individuals’ sexual orientation.

Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy

The Liberals have campaigned for a ban for some time, and a motion has now been submitted to parliament by the Social Democrats. Now, the Moderates and the Centre Party are joining them in calling for conversion therapy to be made illegal, Sweden’s public broadcaster Radio Ekot reports.

“The entire idea is that homosexuality is an illness which can and should be treated. That is, obviously, completely incorrect and a very out-of-place view in a modern society,” Centre’s spokesperson on legal issues, Johan Hedin, told the radio.

Conversion therapy consists of subjecting LGBT+ individuals to pressure or force to hide their sexuality or gender identity. According to MUCF, the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, it occurs “to a not insignificant extent” in Sweden.

“We think there should be a ban. Sweden should be a tolerant country, where nonsense like this quite simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Johan Forssell, the Moderate’s legal spokesperson told Radio Ekot.