Pen­sion­ers feel re­forms im­pact

Septem­ber pay­ments cut by around 3.5 per­cent to cover in­creased na­tional health con­tri­bu­tions

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ROULA SALOUROU

Thou­sands of pen­sion­er­sre­ceiv­ing this week’s So­cial Se­cu­rity Foun­da­tion (IKA) and state pen­sions have suf­fered de­duc­tions of around 4 per­cent on main pen­sions and 6 per­cent on aux­il­iary pen­sions. Sim­i­lar re­duc­tions will be seen in pen­sions from the fund for free­lancers and the self-em­ployed (OAEE) and the Farm­ers’ Pen­sion Fund (OGA) to be paid out on Septem­ber 1. This is the first in­stall­ment of the third mem­o­ran­dum’s cuts which cover in­creased healthcare con­tribu- tions ret­ro­spec­tively from 1 July.

The cuts to main pen­sions come to around 2 per­cent to cover con­tri­bu­tions to Greece’s main healthcare provider, EOPYY, in­creas­ing from 4 to 6 per­cent. But as the de­duc­tion is made from the ini­tial pen­sion amount, with­out fac­tor­ing in de­duc­tions made since 2010, the ac­tual re­duc­tion is closer to 3 or 4 per­cent.

For ex­am­ple, an IKA pen­sioner who in 2010 re­ceived a ba­sic pen­sion of 1,000 eu­ros gross be­fore cuts re- ceived 912 eu­ros in June 2015. That pen­sion will be re­duced by 2 per­cent of the ini­tial amount of 1,000 eu­ros, which means a fur­ther cut of 20 eu­ros that will bring down the monthly pay­ment to 892 eu­ros.

On sup­ple­men­tary pen­sions, a 6 per­cent ded­i­ca­tion is be­ing made, which has been cal­cu­lated on the fi­nal amount paid. Ac­cord­ing to the de­ci­sion of the Sin­gle Sup­ple­men­tary So­cial Se­cu­rity Fund (ETEA), the re­ten­tion of 6 per­cent is ap­plied per pen- sion and not per ben­e­fi­ciary. This means that a pen­sioner re­ceiv­ing two pen­sions will see cuts to both.

A 200-euro sup­ple­men­tary pen­sion be­fore the 2010 cuts, which cur­rently stands at 157.7 eu­ros to­day, will be cut to around 148.3 eu­ros (gross).

Be­tween now and Tues­day, when the Septem­ber pen­sion pay­ment is com­pleted, 2.6 mil­lion pen­sion­ers will suf­fer cuts av­er­ag­ing 3.5 per­cent.

Since the law states that the re­duc­tions will ap­ply retroac­tively from Ju- ly 1, the cuts for the last quar­ter of the year will be greater. In Oc­to­ber, Novem­ber and De­cem­ber pen­sions, along with the cur­rent re­duc­tions, retroac­tive de­duc­tions for July and Au­gust will also be made in three equal in­stall­ments.

For ex­am­ple, for a ba­sic pen­sion of around 800 eu­ros gross, the monthly de­duc­tion would be 15 eu­ros in Septem­ber and 27 eu­ros each month for Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber.

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