Cuts in pen­sions could be lim­ited

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ROULA SALOUROU

The gov­ern­ment will at­tempt to find al­ter­na­tives to some of the tough­est so­cial se­cu­rity mea­sures in­cluded in the third bailout agree­ment by cre­at­ing a new struc­ture for pen­sions that will be im­ple­mented as of next year.

Us­ing the con­clu­sions of an ex­perts’ com­mit­tee that should be sub­mit­ted to La­bor Min­is­ter Gior­gos Ka­trouga­los next week, the min­istry will pro­ceed with ma­jor struc­tural changes and sig­nif­i­cant pen­sion cuts. These will af­fect those who have al­ready re­tired as well as cur­rent work­ers.

The com­mit­tee is ex­am­in­ing sce­nar­ios that even in­clude the re­cal­cu­la­tion of all pen­sions, although so­cial se­cu­rity ex­perts say it would be hard to im­ple­ment, both for tech­ni­cal and le­gal rea­sons.

The main idea is based on the ap­pli­ca­tion of a sin­gle set of so­cial se­cu­rity rules for ev­ery­one, on com­mon terms re­gard­ing con­tri­bu­tions and ben­e­fits. Pen­sion­ers saw their monthly pay­ments re­duced in July as a re­sult of an in­crease in their con­tri­bu­tions to­ward healthcare provider EOPYY. The fact that these cuts count as part of the gov­ern­ment’s ef­fort to achieve a tar­geted fis­cal ad­just­ment equal to 1.3 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by 2016 means that min­istry of­fi­cials hope new cuts may be con­sid­er­ably lim­ited.

The rise in air ar­rivals from abroad eased in Au­gust, low­er­ing the pro­jected growth in tourism rev­enues this year, which had al­ready been low­ered due to the ad­verse po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic con­di­tions. Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity said ar­rivals grew 4.5 per­cent from 2014, and in Jan­uary-Au­gust they rose 6.2 per­cent.

La­bor Min­is­ter Gior­gos Ka­trouga­los hopes pen­sion cuts will not be too big.

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