ECONOMY

Pension dues verdict on its way

pension-dues-verdict-on-its-way

The Labor Ministry is set to find out how much it will have to fork out in retroactive payments to pensioners when the verdict on the pilot trial last January is issued in the next few days.

Tuesday’s appointment of the country’s new top judicial heads clears the way for the eagerly anticipated decision by the plenary of the Council of State that concerns claims for at least 3.9 billion euros by 2.5 million pensioners.

Legal sources, including those involved in the trial, argue that the pensioners will win it, for the period between the previous decision of the CoS in June 2015 and the voting of the so-called Katrougalos law in May 2016. Even for that period, the sum of the state dues will be very big, given also the financial state of the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) these days with the reduction of revenues during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the data EFKA has brought to the CoS, if the retroactive payments are made to all pensioners, the amount will come to €3.26 billion for main pensions and €723 million for auxiliary ones, for a total of almost €4 billion just for those 11 months in 2015-16. This concerns €1.7-1.9 billion in cuts made to the benefits of 1.2 million pensioners and those whose pension sums topped €1,000 per month, and about €2 billion from the Christmas, Easter and holiday bonuses that were abolished in 2012 and affected all pensioners.

Labor law expert Dimitris Bourlos estimates that the CoS decision for the trial on January 10 will be issued very soon. It was the Labor Ministry (through EFKA) that had asked for this pilot trial to take place so as to reach an irrevocable legal resolution to the issue and prevent individual pensioners from resorting to justice.

Bourlos explains that the decision will first rule whether there is a well-founded possibility for claiming the retroactive payments and for which period of time. Another issue is which pensioners stand to receive those payments – i.e. whether those who have not resorted to justice will be entitled to those retroactive dues.