Pensioners offered an inducement to marry

Over 5,000 public sector pensioners will be given a deadline to prove that they are married or else return years of family benefits they received without having been entitled to them, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. State accountants who cross-checked pension records with the annual income tax declarations submitted by public sector pensioners discovered that some 5,300 people who receive an extra supplement due to their supposed marital status declared themselves as unmarried to tax authorities. Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas has instructed ministry officials to inform the pensioners of the discrepancy. Those who are unable to prove, within a set deadline, that they are indeed married will be forced to return all the benefits they received, while some may face prosecution.

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