The plenary of the State Audit Council has found that the deduction of the solidarity levy from the pensions of many public sector retirees, including military staff, academics, doctors, judges and others, contravenes the Constitution. This recent decision has thrown the Single Social Security Fund (EFKA) into fresh financial and judicial turmoil, as it may entail costs of 500-600 million euros.
This concerns the levy introduced in August 2010 and characterized as extraordinary even though it continued after the introduction of the so-called Katrougalos law in 2016.
The solidarity levy ranged from 3% for monthly pensions of €1,400-1,700, to 14% for pensions over €3,500.
According to social security experts, the new verdict allows pensioners to continue pursuing the return of those deductions for the period from January 2017 to December 2018 – i.e. the period since state pensioners were incorporated into EFKA. Labor lawyer Dimitris Bourlos tells Kathimerini that the verdict did not address the period from January 2019, so it is estimated a new decision will come regarding that.
Previous estimates at the Finance Ministry – though it is not informed about the number of recipients and the possible fiscal cost – speak of hundreds of thousands of state retirees due over €500 million.