THE NEW PROVISIONS/ MODIFICATIONS ON THE SOCIAL INSURANCE LEGAL FRAMEWORK THAT WILL BE IN FORCE IN 2015

THE CHANGES IN SOCIAL INSURANCE THAT WILL TAKE PLACE WITHIN 2015

A series of issues remain unresolved because of the elections, but solutions need to be found within the year, as the economic and structural problems in the social insurance sector – especially after the bleeding of the pensions – are still of utmost importance.

As every day many different news sources refer to social insurance in general, we remind you that the provisions on special insurance funds (former Hellenic Telecommunications Organization Personnel Insurance Fund – in Greek: ΤΑΠ-ΟΤΕ) are not all the same as those that apply for IKA and the Public Sector Insurance Funds in general or other insurance/ social security organizations.

Consequently, you should focus on measures and provisions that refer to special insurance funds and Public Services and Utilities Organizations (in Greek: ΔΕΚΟ), with the exception of those insured after 1/1/1993, who are insured by the Social Security Institute – Single Insurance Fund for Personnel (in Greek: IKA-ETAM).

The information provided in this article is mostly or exclusively limited to the category of the Hellenic Post employees who were insured at the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization Personnel Insurance Fund (ΤΑΠ-ΟΤΕ) or the Social Security Institute (IKA) after 1993.

At the same time when various more changes are pending or being pushed, all the provisions that have been voted in the last years are being applied from 1/1/2015 onwards. These provisions have been analyzed in previous articles of relevant content, which you may find under the sections “Pensions” or “Social Insurance” in POST's web site. The following are the most important provisions that concern you:

1. New method for calculation of main pension

The application of this provision has been suspended after an announcement by the competent Ministry, which should be included in a bill.

According to former Law 3863/2010, from 1/1/2015 onwards a new mixed system will be applied as follows:

Insurance years up to 31/12/2010 are calculated according to the previous system. Pensionable years from 1/1/2011 onwards will be calculated with the new system and the final pension will be the sum of main and proportional pension.

The main pension amounts to 360 Euros and is proportional for the years after 2011, while proportional pension depends on the salary as well as the total of insurance years.

We hereby clarify that the new system applies only on those who fulfill the requirements for pension from 1/1/2015 onwards.

However, those who have not established/ secured pension rights until 31/12/2014 are not affected by the new calculation method, and their pensions will be calculated under the previous system, whenever they decide to retire.

2. Reduction by 30% of the Special Solidarity Contribution

This year, pensioners with annual income over 12,000 Euro (from 13,000 to 20,000 Euro) will have a minimal increase in their income, from 40 to 60 Euro...

3. Legal provisions on zero deficit clause on supplementary pensions

The government has announced that from 2015 onwards, all cuts on supplementary pensions related to the zero deficit clause will be abolished.

It is a simple but painful measure, which means that whenever there are deficits in insurance funds, there will be pension cuts.

Thus, after the reductions imposed by laws that cut supplementary pensions by half and the last reduction of 5,2% from 1/7/2014, there is still the possibility for new cuts, given that the state subsidies have also been reduced. And this possibility will be even higher if the new resources for supplementary insurance funds which are integrated in the Single Supplementary Insurance Fund (ETEA) – like our Supplementary Insurance-Sector for Hellenic Post Employees (ΤΕΑΠ-ΕΛΤΑ) – are not utilized properly.

4. Age requirements

The age requirements remain the same as they were under Law 4093/2012 for those who have established/ secured pension rights under the requirements that were in force until 31/12/2012 or under the general provisions for those who gather the necessary requirements from 1/1/2013 onwards.

In case there are changes, as is highly possible after the various recent developments, we will inform you immediately. However, nothing seems to have changed to the worse so far.

5. Insurance CV

By the end of the year, the insurance-related data of all 5.3 million employees will have been recorded. The insured may get information related to their insurance stamps for the time period 1994-today on the web page www.atlas.gov or via taxis using their taxis codes.

The same system will apply for supplementary insurance funds as well.

Our colleagues may be informed on the amount of pension they are entitled to by reading our previous relevant articles or by sending an e-mail with their questions to the POST Secretariat.

6. Creation of a single pension fund for all the insured

With the creation of a single pension center which will absorb the personnel of all other insurance funds, the government aims to speed up pension payment procedures for all insurance funds and overcome the major problem of successive insurance.

7. Unification of all insurance funds

The programmed unification of most insurance funds in one Social Security Institute-super fund – with separate accounts for supplementary pensions and benefits – is yet to be implemented.

Our insurance fund – the former Hellenic Telecommunications Organization Personnel Insurance Fund (ΤΑΠ-ΟΤΕ) – has already been integrated to the Social Security Institute – Single Insurance Fund for Personnel (IKA-ETAM) since 2008 for the main pension and to the Single Supplementary Insurance Fund (ETEA) since 2012 for the supplementary pension.

In general, these are the provisions that will apply to our insurance fund for this year, according to former provisions. For any more changes, we will have to wait for the developments in the political field and we will inform you promptly.

For any other related issue, you may find more information on the POST web site under the sections “pensions” or “social insurance”.