Pension bill grants more funds to IKA

Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas yesterday unveiled legislation aimed at reforming the country’s pension system. The bill provides details regarding conditions for retirement, the retirement age, and benefits. The legislation moved slightly toward meeting a key demand by labor unions that the State contribute more toward social security. The State is to fund the Social Security Foundation (IKA) with with 1.4 billion euros next year and 1 percent of GDP until 2032 and is to issue special bonds. The General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), by a majority vote, has decided to hold a 24-hour national strike when the legislation is debated in Parliament. The date for this has not been set. Civil servants and the federation of private employees have also said they will strike. The decision has rocked GSEE, splitting its administrative board 23-22 after a member allied to the ruling PASOK party sided with the opposition. The new social security legislation sets January 1, 1993, as the watershed that will determine the retirement age and size of the pension. Different conditions will apply for those who were first employed before that date (the «old» employees) and those who began working after the end of 1992 (the «new» employees). Below are conditions that will apply to most employees, those covered by the Social Security Foundation (IKA). Regarding «new employees,» both men and women will retire at 65 after a minimum of 4,500 work days (15 years), or at any age after working for 37 years. «Old» employees can retire after 15 years of work when men turn 65 and women 60. For those with 10,000 workdays under their belts, men can retire at 62 and women at 57. These employees can retire with a full pension at 57 if they have worked for 35 years and at any age if they have worked for 37 years. For «new» employees, pensions will be calculated on the basis of the average (not counting bonuses and vacation money) of the best-paid five years in the last 10 years of employment. For them, the lowest pension will be set at 70 percent of the wages of a married, unskilled laborer (in other words, increasing from 211 euros today to 366 euros).

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