Cross-checks find pension breaches in healthcare

Greece?s first electronic cross-checks of pension payments and income tax declarations discovered more than 12 percent of health workers receiving benefits are under-reporting their income.

The results of the audit also showed that 5.5 percent of members of the pension fund for doctors, dentists, pharmacists and veterinary surgeons were receiving pensions of more than 6,000 euros a month, or at least 72,000 euros, and had not filed an income tax declaration.

The figures were released by the Labor Ministry on Wednesday in a statement posted on its website.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has promised to stamp out pension fraud and curb tax evasion in a bid to make savings that will avoid further austerity measures.

The findings also showed a proportionally higher number of health workers claiming disability pensions than in the general population, according to the statement. The pension fund has 11.3 percent of claimants with a disability payment, compared with a 7.7 percent rate for pensioners nationwide, the ministry said.

Electronic cross-checks will continue with the pension fund for engineers and building contractors and with the fund for lawyers, notaries public and court officials. [Bloomberg]

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