About 400,000 foreign workers make social security contributions

Some 400,000 immigrants, the majority of them from Albania, appear to be registered with one of the three major social security funds (IKA, TEBE and OGA), according to IMEPO, which found that while immigrants contribute a considerable amount to the funds, they get precious little in return and do the most difficult jobs which Greeks refuse to do. According to the data collected in the surveys, just over 10 percent of economic immigrants are not registered with any social security fund. There are 2,100,858 Greeks registered and 346,070 immigrants, who pay 887,035,941 euros into IKA annually. About half of all registered immigrants with IKA (the Social Security Fund) work in construction. The farm workers’ fund (OGA) accounts for just 44,689, of which 35,318 are Albanians, mostly aged under 34. A very small percentage of immigrants (just 9,000 people) are with TEBE, of which a third are from Albania. A study by the National Center for Social Research into social security trends among immigrants said foreigners’ use of the system is restricted. The same survey pointed out that the low educational level of economic immigrants meant lower incomes and, therefore, low pensions later for the majority. Immigrants tend to record very few of the total number of days they have worked. The average for Greeks is 211.42 working days a year recorded, while for economic migrants that figure falls to 188.7 percent. The most outstanding factor in immigrants’ contributions to social security funds is that their contributions comprise an average 43.1 percent of their pay, compared to just 3.8 percent for Greeks.