EFKA’s overtime for pensions


The government is forcing the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) to rush through the paperwork for new pensioners and make as many payments as possible by Tuesday – to the extent that the fund’s employees are being asked to work over the weekend to clear the backlog – so that Greece can make the deadline for the payment of dues to third parties.

EFKA chief Thanassis Bakalexis sent a circular to the directors of departments that issue pensions, telling them there will be an extraordinary payout on October 10 – with the aim of issuing payments to thousands of new pensioners – so that the relevant data regarding the period from September 30 to October 10 can be submitted in time for the negotiations with the country’s creditors.

Bakalexis is basically asking EFKA employees to process and close all the cases included in the list of the outstanding applications for September, even if this means working through the weekend.

Similar extraordinary payouts are expected in the next few months too, until the situation reverts to normal, as it is estimated that due to the merging of the social security funds, delays in the issue of important circulars and various organizational problems, precious time has been lost. There is therefore a clear risk that the money set aside by the European Stability Mechanism for this purpose will be lost.

Finance Ministry officials still believe that the October target for the reduction of the general government’s expired debts in comparison with April will be met.

In a similar vein, a circular sent by Independent Authority for Public Revenue head Giorgos Pitsilis to the country’s tax offices has called for an acceleration in dealing with enterprises’ tax returns, thus speeding up the payment of tax rebates, to make the 1.2-billion-euro target the creditors have set for state debt repayments to third parties. That will trigger the disbursement of another 800 million euros for the same purpose.