Care needed in pension fund reform

In accordance with the Reppas law, which called for the merging of the country’s social security funds, in 2006 then New Democracy Labor Minister Savvas Tsitouridis merged TEVE, the pension fund for the self-employed, with the traders’ and taxi drivers’ funds into one shared fund called the Social Security Fund for the Self-Employed (OAEE). Ever since, this fund has literally been locked in a battle for survival, as each month, in order to meet its pension payouts, it needs to turn to the state budget to cover its immense deficits. Yesterday, representatives of the fund spoke of their grievances to PASOK leader George Papandreou, and he, instead of recognizing his party’s share of the responsibility for the Reppas law, claimed that these workers’ pensions are under threat because of New Democracy’s reform program. Independently of PASOK’s hypocrisy, however, the government must proceed cautiously and by conducting a comprehensive study to ensure that we do not end up with large social security funds that are not viable from the get-go. The unification of funds is meant to create strong institutions not ailing organizations.

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