BUSINESS

Pensions keep getting smaller

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Finance

One in three pensioners has to live on less than 500 euros a month at a time when pensions in Greece have been constantly falling, according to the Helios online data system’s monthly reports.

The Labor Ministry platform showed that the average income of Greek retirees amounts to 894 euros per month: The average main pension from all social security funds comes to 722 euros a month while the average auxiliary pension amounts to just 171 euros a month. The average dividend from the funds comes to 98 euros.

More than two in three pensioners (66.39 percent) are on less than 1,000 euros a month, and 31.03 percent of pensions do not exceed 500 euros.

In December the number of pensioners fell by 3,311 from November to 2,586,480. Compared to October’s 2,592,950, that’s a reduction of 6,470 pensioners. Monthly expenditure on pensions decreased by 1.44 million euros from November and by 4.07 million from October.

In total, 117,148 people were issued with new and definitive main and auxiliary pensions as well as dividends in 2017. As the year drew to a close, more and more new pensions issued were calculated according to the law introduced in 2016, meaning that the benefits handed out were considerably smaller.

Therefore, while the average new pension for retirees who paid into the former Social Security Foundation (IKA) amounted to 640.66 euros in January 2017, this dropped to just 521.01 euros in December. Even the average IKA pension for those for whom it was first issued before May 2016 shrank considerably over the year, dropping to 618 euros per month.

Notably, more than a quarter of pensioners (26.32 percent) are under 65, while the distribution of retirees per age and pension category shows that the younger a person retires, the higher a pension they will receive.

Meanwhile the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Thursday that the unemployment figures for last November showed no improvement from October, staying put at 20.9 percent. In November 2016 the jobless rate came to an upwardly revised 23.3 percent.

Online