Despite cuts, pensions are best protected


Poverty data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) illustrate the timeless significance of pensions when it comes to containing poverty risk in Greece, and the protection of sorts they provide for pensioners when compared with other social groups such as the unemployed or women.

Social benefits in Greece contribute just four percentage points toward helping reduce the poverty risk, while pensions contribute 27.7 percentage points, for a total of 31.7 percent for all social handouts.

ELSTAT data show that 35.6 percent of the Greek population was at risk of poverty last year, marginally lower than in 2015 (35.7 percent).

The poverty line was set at an annual income of 4,500 euros per person and 9,450 euros for a four-member family in 2016. The poverty risk for people aged up to 17 amounts to 26.3 percent (down 0.3 percent from 2015), meaning that more than one in four Greek children is classified as poor. The poverty risk for over-65s was at 12.4 percent last year (down 1.3 percent from the year before).

There was a 1.3-percentage point increase in the rate of women at risk of poverty to 12.3 percent, while that for the unemployed rose 2.3 percentage points to 47.1 percent and of households with two adults and three or more dependent children 2.4 percentage points to 32 percent.