KEAO tar­gets strate­gic debtors

Ef­fort to con­tain so­cial se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tion ar­rears picks up as ever more peo­ple miss­ing pay­ments

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ROULA SALOUROU

The non-pay­ment of so­cial se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tions – whether on pur­pose or not – to the coun­try’s crum­bling pen­sion funds has grown to un­prece­dented pro­por­tions, with ex­pired debts re­ferred to the Cen­ter for the Col­lec­tion of So­cial Se­cu­rity Ar­rears (KEAO) adding up to 16.6 bil­lion euros in end-June from 15.7 bil­lion in end-March.

Data show that many debtors who had sought to set­tle their ar­rears via a pay­ment plan are un­able to keep up with their in­stall­ments, so that out of the 147,308 debt cases ad­justed to pay­ment plans only 50,249 re­main on course and 8,842 have been suc­cess­fully com­pleted; the other 88,217 have fallen by the way­side, with those debts once more be­ing de­scribed as “ex­pired.”

It ap­pears from the num­bers that the hike im­posed on con­tri­bu­tions has not only failed to tackle the prob­lem of pen­sion funds’ fi­nanc­ing but has also ex­ac­er­bated it, as em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees are in­creas­ingly un­able to pay their dues. Ob­servers warn that the new hikes for both salaried em­ploy­ment and for the self-em­ployed and farm­ers will lead to a col­lapse of funds’ rev­enues.

In fact, the to­tal ex­pired debts to so­cial se­cu­rity funds are far above the 16.6 bil­lion euros re­ferred to KEAO (con­cern­ing debts of over 5,000 euros each) and are es­ti­mated to add up to around 25 bil­lion euros.

In an ef­fort to in­crease the funds’ rev­enues, KEAO is now pro­ceed­ing to the sep­a­ra­tion of reg­u­lar dodgers from those who are gen­uinely un­able to pay due to fi­nan­cial restric­tions, im­pos­ing strict mea­sures on the for­mer through a cam­paign of re­pos­ses­sion no­tices and through cor­po­rate in­sol­vency in­spec­tions. 1.0997 A few days ago KEAO ob­tained full ac­cess to the bank ac­counts of debtors so that ex­perts can as­sess the pro­file of those who have sig­nif­i­cant ar­rears by mon­i­tor­ing their bank trans­ac­tions.

The La­bor and So­cial Se­cu­rity Min­istry, mean­while, will try to con­vince the coun­try’s cred­i­tors to agree to the reen­try into a pay­ment plan of debtors who may have missed in­stall­ments by mis­take or for rea­sons be­yond their con­trol.

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