Thanks to the help of one of President Benigno Aquino III’s major fund raisers in the 2010 polls, Arroyo appointee to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) board Reynaldo Palmieri may soon be able to receive a monthly pension amounting to P270,000.
The Supreme Court has recently upheld Palmieri’s claims and ordered the GSIS board to credit the years he had served as a senior executive vice president in the computation of his pension even though he had retired twice in 1987 and 1994.
Palmieri would not have won the case without the legal prowess of Fulgencio Factoran Jr., an Aquino campaign donor and fellow retired GSIS trustee, whom he hired after receiving an unfavorable ruling from the GSIS board.
In its ruling, the appellate court favored a liberal interpretation of a 1936 retirement law allowing any rehired government employee to refund retirement benefits they have previously received in order to take advantage of bigger credit from their additional years of service.
Aware of this provision, Palmieri previously returned over P920,000 in retirement benefits he received when he retired from the GSIS in 1994. Eleven years later, he retired again after reaching 65 years old but continued as a board member until March 2010 after having been appointed by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
But when it was his turn to claim his pension, the GSIS board under the Aquino administration voted to apply the stricter provisions of the 1997 GSIS charter, which states that re-hires need a minimum of 15 years of government service to qualify for retirement benefits.
Palmiery currently receives P13,000 monthly as pension for all his years of service at GSIS.