QCOSTARICA – “I will not leave (the presidency) as a pensioner; I will take my pension when entitled, at 65 years of age”. With those words, Carlos Alvarado Quesada reiterated that he will not collect the presidential pension he is entitled to, a right that all former presidents have.
His decision, affirms the outgoing president will save the State about ¢2 billion colones over the next 23 years.
At 42 years of age – the youngest in Costa Rica’s history – it will be more than two decades before he is entitled to retire under the Disability, Old Age and Death (IVM) of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS).
The ¢2 billion figure is based on an estimate made by Casa Presidencial, in money brought to present value, of the average monthly payment of ¢3.8 million colones to former presidents. This is a special non-contributory regime, that is, presidents do not contribute to receive the benefit, rather a right that they earn with their investiture.
“We are talking that in these 23 years I would be giving up approximately ¢2 billion at present value. I need to work to live, like most Costa Ricans, and there’s nothing wrong with that, you know it and you can see it in the statements to the Comptroller’s Office”.
In an interview with La Nación, Alvarado referred to the comments that his decision is irresponsible and has populist overtones.
“I am not irresponsible, because if I die, or if I become ill or disabled, the pension will go to Gabriel (Quesada, his son) and Claudia (Doubles, outgoing first lady). I came here to do my job, I came here to serve the country,” said Alvarado.
Although Alvarado renounced his pension, the right of survivorship to his first-degree relatives remains intact.
Alvarado argued that he made that decision without hesitation, given his age and the financial situation of the country and all Costa Ricans.
“I will retire when I am 65 years old,” affirmed Alvarado.