Pensioners may face further cuts in 2018

Pensioners may face further cuts in 2018

Auxiliary pensions appear headed for a fresh cut in 2018, as the single auxiliary social security fund (ETEAEP) will end 2017 with a deficit, against the small surplus originally forecast.

Crucially, while the ETEAEP budget for next year provides for a surplus of 176.01 million euros, expenditure on pensions will be reduced by 150 million euros.

Based on the latest social security laws introduced by former minister Giorgos Katrougalos and current minister Effie Achtsioglou, the new auxiliary pensions – when they are finally issued – will be reduced by 22 percent on average, with a cut of up to 18 percent expected to existing pensions in 2019. The provisions of the ETEAEP budget that Kathimerini has seen suggest that existing pensions might be cut as early as next year.

The single auxiliary social security fund is now projecting a deficit of 166.6 million euros for this year, compared to an original forecast for a 10.07-million-euro surplus.

For next year’s surplus of 176.007 million euros to be attained, spending on auxiliary pensions will have to be reduced from 4.30 billion euros in 2016 and 4.17 billion this year to 4.02 billion in 2018. This means the sum of auxiliary pensions will decline by 3.59 percent next year.

Revenues from next year’s social security contributions are estimated at 2.68 billion euros, against 2.566 billion this year (compared to a forecast for 2.581 billion).

The ETEAEP budget also shows that the fund sold bonds worth 200 million euros this yea – at a considerable loss – while next year it will need to cash in bonds worth 80 million euros from the special fund at the Bank of Greece. In total, takings from the fund’s cash and bond handling for this year are estimated at 397.14 million euros, against an original projection of 200.54 million.

Revenues from the utilization or sale of assets will amount to an estimated 311.65 million euros next year.

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