Ma­jor cuts to pen­sions

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ROULA SALOUROU

The pen­sions of some 70,000 Greeks who can re­tire within 2017 will be re­duced by up to 20 per­cent.

Ex­perts note that al­though the law in­tro­duced by for­mer la­bor and so­cial se­cu­rity min­is­ter Gior­gos Ka­trouga­los pro­vides for those who re­tire up un­til 2018 to re­ceive a bonus to ease the blow from the tran­si­tion to the new sys­tem, the vast ma­jor­ity of work­ers who re­tire this year will not ben­e­fit from it, as the law only con­cerns those who are sub­ject to a re­duc­tion in ex­cess of 20 per­cent.

The new pen­sions will ef­fec­tively com­prise three parts. The first con­cerns the na­tional pen­sion, which amounts to 384 eu­ros per month if it is a full pen­sion based on age or dis­abil­ity with at least 20 years of ser­vice. The sec­ond part will be based on each worker’s salary from 2002 un­til re­tire­ment, in­clud­ing Christ­mas, Easter and holiday bonuses. The third part will con­sti­tute the so-called “per­sonal dif­fer­ence” – the gap be­tween the pen­sion as cal­cu­lated ac­cord­ing to the old method and that us­ing the new cal­cu­la­tion sys­tem.

If that per­sonal dif­fer­ence is more than 20 per­cent, a third of it will be re­turned to the pen­sioner, while if it is up to 19.99 per­cent, then the pen­sioner will have no choice but to ac­cept the en­tire cut.

Deputy Min­is­ter for So­cial Se­cu­rity Ta­sos Petropou­los has ad­mit­ted that the first batch of re­cal­cu­lated pen­sions, amount­ing to 10 per­cent of the whole, showed per­sonal dif­fer­ences of 20 per­cent. of the sec­ond re­view with­out any fur­ther de­lays is of vi­tal sig­nif­i­cance to avoid a fresh de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the do­mes­tic eco­nomic cli­mate and to main­tain ex­pec­ta­tions for the pos­si­ble in­clu­sion of Greece in the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s quan­ti­ta­tive eas­ing pro­gram,’ Eurobank warns.

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