BUSINESS

Vroutsis reveals huge pile of pending pensions

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Finance

More than 310,000 pension applications to the main pension fund (EFKA) and the auxiliary pension fund (ETEAEP) remain pending, while the total number of outstanding cases regarding pension issues adds up to over 1 million, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said on Tuesday.

He presented this disappointing picture, with the delays and the stagnant situation hundreds of thousands of retirees are facing, while responding to a question in Parliament on pending issues in social security.

Vroutsis said that “recording this mess has exceeded even the most pessimistic estimates regarding the total amount of pending cases, and reveals the tragic errors and omissions of the ministry’s previous administration, which for years concealed the truth and ignored the troubles of retirees.”

The ministry argues that the actual picture of all pending issues at social security funds explains why the ministry’s previous administration systematically avoided offering any clear answers and ostensibly turned its back on parliamentary control.

According to data valid on August 31, 2019, pending applications at EFKA and ETEAEP amounted to 313,506, of which 189,851 concerned main pensions at EFKA, another 87,591 auxiliary pensions at ETEAEP and 36,064 retirement lump sums.

At the social security funds there are also 375,627 pending cases concerning applications for the recognition of military service, studies etc, and a further 61,926 other cases that remained on the pile without being processed by the funds’ employees.

On top of all that, the Labor Ministry has added to those pending matters the 222,869 pensions for which the recalculation has become virtually impossible due to the absence of data or the existence of incorrect data, plus the 82,012 bereavement benefits, whose recalculation was only completed a month ago. That brings the sum to 1,058,749 pending cases and applications, which has led the ministry to the decision the funds’ staff must be strengthened.

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