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Workers rally at Labour Ministry in protest over new old-age pension rules

CNN Indonesia - February 15, 2022

Jakarta – The Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI) along with the National Student League for Democracy (LMND) held a symbolic action in front of the Ministry of Labour building on Tuesday February 15.

They were demanding that Ministry of Labour Regulation (Permenaker) Number 2/2022, which stipulates that old-age pensions (JHT) can only be disbursed when a person reaches the age of 56 years, be immediately revoked.

"We are asking the Ministry of Labour to revoke Permenaker 2/2022 on Procedures for the Claiming and Payment of Old Age Pensions and at the same time reinstate Permenaker 19/2015", said KPBI Secretary General Damar Panca Mulia in an official release on Tuesday.

During the symbolic action, around 20 participants wore masks with pictures of Labour Minister Ida Fauziyah's face on them. They also brought posters with the message "A crime. Old age benefits can [only] be taken at age 56 or when you're dead".

Mulia believes that the new regulation is a policy which will complete the suffering of workers after the enactment of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

Mulia added that they strongly reject the new regulation which represents a reflection of the lack of participatory involvement of the public in drafting regulations. He also believes that the policy is embarrassing because the state is holding on to pension funds which are clearly the right of workers.

"From a situation like this it is quite normal that wild assumption will emerge in society [about what the state is doing with the funds]", said Mulia.

"Did the government through the Labour Ministry intentionally make this new regulation to continue accumulating JHT funds which have already grown to as much as 555 trillion rupiah so that these funds can be used to pay for development by the Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] administration", he asked.

As has been reported, Ministry of Labour Regulation Number 2/2022 has attracted strong protests from the public. This is because under the earlier regulation, namely Ministry of Labour Regulation Number 19/2015, old-age pensions could be directly received in cash by participants who resign after going through a waiting period of one month calculated from the date of the letter of resignation.

So far, there have already been legal efforts made to cancel the new regulation though a challenge at the Constitutional Court.

A plaintiff by the name of Redyanto Reno Baskoro, a worker in the metal industry in the Mampang Prapatan area of South Jakarta, has appointed Singgih Tomi Gumilang as their legal attorney.

They are submitting a judicial review because they believe that the new regulation does not reflect the principles of justice, decency and legal certainty.

The article in question reads, "The JHT for participants who resign as referred to under Article 4 Paragraph 2a and participants who are dismissed as referred to under Article 4 Paragraph 2b shall be given to participants when they reach the age of 56 (fifty-six) years". (ryn/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Buruh Demo Protes Aturan JHT Pakai Topeng Menaker Ida Fauziyah".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20220215163843-20-759519/buruh-demo-protes-aturan-jht-pakai-topeng-menaker-ida-fauziya