The constitutional Court, with judgment 173/2016, has decided, once more, over questions regarding measures that, in light of the permanent financial crisis of our pension system, have affected the higher pensions. In this occasion, differently from previous cases, the constitutional judges have overcome the doubts of constitutional illegitimacy, raised with regard to the norm providing for a solidarity levy. The constitutional judges only decided that the solidarity levy does not violate the legal legitimate expectation and it does not affect the proportionality of benefits, given that it is tolerable. In this way, the constitutional judges have kept applying their traditional criteria. These criteria are ambiguous under many aspects, at least implicitly, since they imply the undeniable guarantee of vested rights, and, hence, the limitation of the legislature discretionality. Moreover, the review of constitutionality of the solidarity levy on higher pensions would have been more effective if the constitutional judges would have attempted to interpret the meaning of «adequate means for life needs», enshrined in Art. 38.2 Cost, and, hence, would have verified whether the pensions tackled by the levy would still satisfy the constitutional principle. Furthermore, an approach as such would have provided a systematic framework and clear recommendations to the legislator.
Keywords: Constitutional Court; Adequate means for life needs; Art. 38 Cost.