CJEU - C-122/15 / Judgment Preliminary Ruling Request from the Finnish Administrative Court

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Social policy — Principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination on grounds of age — Directive 2000/78/EC — Equal treatment in employment and occupation — Articles 2, 3 and 6 — Difference in treatment on grounds of age — National legislation providing, in certain situations, for higher taxation of pension income than earned income — Scope of application of Directive 2000/78 — Competence of the European Union in the field of direct taxation

Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:

...the Court (First Chamber) hereby rules:

Article 3(1)(c) of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation must be interpreted as meaning that national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, relating to a supplementary tax on pension income, does not fall within the substantive scope of that directive nor, therefore, is it covered by Article 21(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 
  1. As regards, more specifically, the provisions of the Charter which the referring court asks the Court to interpret, suffice it to point out that, according to Article 51(1) of the Charter, its provisions are addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing EU law.
  2. It is common ground that Law 1992/1535 does not implement any provision of European Union law and no directive on taxation is applicable in the situation at issue in the main proceedings. Furthermore, as is clear from paragraph 27 of the present judgment, the dispute in the main proceedings does not fall within the scope of Directive 2000/78. Therefore, the provisions of the Charter the interpretation of which is sought by the present request for a preliminary ruling cannot be successfully relied on in the context of that dispute.
  3. Having regard to the foregoing considerations, the answer to the first question is that Article 3(1)(c) of Directive 2000/78 must be interpreted as meaning that national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, relating to a supplementary tax on pension income, does not fall within the substantive scope of that directive nor, therefore, is it covered by Article 21(1) of the Charter.