BUSINESS

Gov't measure to help young scientists is proving a trap

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

Last year’s announcement by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that young scientists would be able to pay reduced social security contributions for their first five years of work is proving a trap: After the expiry of the five years, they will be expected to pay all the contributions they did not pay in that period, with interest, according to a circular issued on Tuesday by the new Single Social Security Entity (EFKA).

This is not the only example of additional, previously hidden burdens on workers, as circulars on social security contributions according to the law introduced by former labor minister Giorgos Katrougalos are now coming thick and fast, revealing the extent of the contribution hikes and the traps for various categories of workers.

Regarding the burden on some 900,000 freelance workers and the self-employed, Tuesday’s circular introduces a flat rate of contributions amounting to 20 percent of revenues going toward their pension fund and 6.95 percent to healthcare.

It also clarifies that deductions for former members of the freelance workers’ fund (OAEE) will further include another 10 euros per month that will go to the Manpower Organization (OAED). This charge is flat, without any income-based variations.

The limits on monthly contributions are set at a minimum of 167.95 euros and a maximum of 1,589.49 euros.

As regards lawyers, they will be expected to pay their social security fund a 20 percent share of each advance payment they receive. Crucially, even those who have temporarily suspended their activity will still have to pay monthly contributions amounting to the minimum level established.

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