ECONOMY

Pension review has saved state 42 mln euros, alternate finance minister says

A review of the pensions being paid out by the Greek state and new, stricter rules governing pension registrations have led to savings of a total of 42 million euros in the past two years, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday.

An effort launched in 2012 to rationalize the pension system and weed out false claims has trimmed the state’s pension payroll by around 1.3 million euros a month, Staikouras said.

“Over the past two years, efforts have been made to promote clarity, transparency and more efficient management of the public pension system,” Staikouras said. “Among other measures, we have completed the registry of pensioners so that not one illegal pension is being paid out today.”

The biggest obstacle to rationalizing the pension system was cross-referencing death records with those of eligible pensioners in an effort to crack down on heirs claiming the pensions of deceased relatives.

The registration of all pensioners also helped weed out retirees claiming money they are not entitled to.

Staikouras added that the Finance Ministry has issued regulations for a complete record of all pensioners to be drawn up every five years in order to avert any future abuse of the system. The registration process foresees pensioners or a representative appointed by power of attorney physically appearing at pension funds to provide proof of life.