ECONOMY

Bill speeds up new pensions

Regulations set the rules for commissioning lawyers and accountants for the process

bill-speeds-up-new-pensions

Qualified accountants, tax experts and lawyers with at least three years of experience will be able to assist in the process for the issue of pensions (main and auxiliary pensions and retirement lump sums), according to an amendment the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry is expected to submit in Parliament on Tuesday.

Their payment will be tax-free and protected from confiscation, and will be disbursed by the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA).

They will first have to be certified and trained, and then entered into an online register of certified partners from which retirees will be able to choose an assistant for their application.

This regulation is expected to allow lawyers and accountants to join the battle for the prompt issuing of new pensions and clearing the application backlog that has exceeded 300,000. This is an ambitious venture, with social security experts believing it will be a difficult trick for the ministry to pull off, as private professionals will have to complete procedures in which up to 40 EFKA clerks may be involved.

Minister Kostis Hatzidakis has stated his resolve to use all tools available in this battle, whether they may be extra bonuses to EFKA employees or hirings of permanent or contract workers, or the acquisition of 1,700 computers, or the use of private professionals who will assist with their experience.

That regulation is quite special in that it allows the retirees themselves to pick who will assist them with the processing of their application. The commissioning of each private professional’s services is conducted through a formal statement on e-EFKA that will specify the task in hand; it can also be conducted via entry to a special platform, similar to Taxisnet, on the e-EFKA online system.

That will also provide the professionals with the right to process the personal data of each insured retiree. Certified professionals will have access to all material and data stored in the conventional and online archives of EFKA.