SOCIAL SECURITY

Even debtors to get pensions

Under pressure from country’s creditors, EFKA will satisfy applications of retirees with dues

even-debtors-to-get-pensions

Labor and Social Security Minister Kostis Hatzidakis met on Tuesday with the creditors’ mission chiefs, as the road opened for the issue of pensions to thousands of debtors who owe money to the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA).

Under the creditors’ constant pressure on the government for the swift processing of outstanding pension applications, EFKA released clarifications that allow for the issue of pensions to retired freelancers and self-employed professionals with debts up to 20,000 euros, and to farmers with dues up to €6,000.

The method to be employed for the issue of pensions will be withholding the debt from the monthly benefit paid out, at a minimum amount of €50 per month.

If the dues exceed the above limits, the debtor will need to pay the difference first and then the pension will start being issued from the start of the following month. In cases where debtors have joined repayment schemes and have met their obligations, the level of debt considered will be determined according to the outstanding balance.

Hatzidakis’ meeting with the mission chiefs on Tuesday formed part of the creditors’ 12th post-program assessment process. The main topic was the processing of all pension applications, with the mission chiefs pushing for the fulfillment of EFKA’s obligations to tens of thousands of retirees. The course of pending pensions was also at the focus of the creditors’ technical staff, along with the amount provided by the 2022 budget for the payment of those overdue arrears by the state.

Ministry sources said Tuesday’s meeting was positive, with Hatzidakis presenting the progress registered and the estimates for the next few months, given the target the ministry has set for the acceleration in the pace of pending pension issues and the drastic reduction of the applications backlog over the first half of next year.

The minister is also understood to have agreed to inform the mission chiefs on a regular basis both about the course of those applications and pensions in general.