Q COSTA RICA – When former president Carlos Alvarado was in office, he insisted he would give up his ex-president’s pension, even though it’s against the law.
Labor institutions kept explaining that it’s an unchangeable right and happens automatically.
After a year and a month since he left power (on May 8, 2022) did the dispute end? Is he getting his pension or was he able to find a way to keep his promise?
Well sort of the latter, but not as you would think.
According to the Ministerio de Trabajo (Ministry of Labor), the state agency responsible for the payment of pensions to former presidents, there was an issue with communication, which stopped him from getting the money.
They said they hadn’t heard from Alvarado regarding a bank account to make payment to or any other method of notification, preventing the Ministry from delivering the money.
Waiver of Pension
When he left office, Carlos was 42, he had (still has) the right to receive the payment, an amount equivalent to the salary of a legislator.
In 2020, while Alvarado was president, he declared he’d work after his government to avoid collecting the pension.
Days before leaving office, Alvarado reiterated “I will not leave (the presidency) as a pensioner; I will take my pension when entitled, at 65 years of age”, which would be in 2045.
By June 2022, already out of office, he delivered a formal resignation letter from retirement.
Basically, the government responded that due to articles 73 and 74 of Costa Rica’s Political Constitution, the pension of former Presidents are inalienable.
Last July, the Labor Ministry said that they were finishing up the process to officially pay him.
“In accordance with article 16 of Law No. 7302 of July 15, 1992, we have proceeded to process formally the pension that by right corresponds to him and that is inalienable. This process is in its final phase.
However, to this day they have had trouble “officially” notifying him.
Carlos Andrés Alvarado Quesada, a Costa Rican politician, writer, journalist, and political scientist served as the 48th president of Costa Rica from 8 May 2018 to 8 May 2022. Alvarado previously served as Minister of Labor and Social Security during the presidency of Luis Guillermo Solís (2014-2018).
In July last year, Alvarado was hired as a professor at Tufts University, where he will teach Diplomacy at the Fletcher School.
Last month, Alvarado was chosen as the keynote speaker for Harvard University’s School of Public Health’s graduation in 2023. In his speech, he stressed the need for the students to make hard decisions based on science and technology to take on the public health challenges they’ll face in their future careers, even if it’s difficult, because it would be hugely beneficial for the greater good.