THE “VULTURES” STRIKE AGAIN – THIS TIME USING AS AN EXCUSE THE ALLEGED “PENTHOUSE POSITIONS” OF THE PUBLIC CORPORATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS (ΔΕΚΟ) AND THE PENSIONS

Lies and mud-slinging have become once again the priority of governmental policy.

Mr. Stournaras – after repeatedly declaring that no more horizontal measures will be taken, that the memorandums are over and various similar flourishes – commented that certain social security funds of former Public Corporations and Organizations (in Greek ΔΕΚΟ) are very costly and characterized as provocative the amounts of pensions received by those insured at former special funds that are now absorbed by the Social Security Institute (in Greek IKA).

The above statement constitutes not only a lie but also black propaganda.

Furthermore, the Government is preparing new changes regarding the age limits for early retirement as well as new cuts.

They keep on doing what they know best, the practices they have perfected in recent years, by trying to “awaken society's reflexes”, convincing the masses of the existence of privileged insurance categories in certain Public Corporations and Organizations (ΔΕΚΟ), which keep becoming richer at the expense of others. Using such lies, they feel justified in their effort to demolish salaries and pensions, thus repressing Greek society as a whole.

They are attempting to make us turn against each other for reasons such as: “he/she has a job!”, “why is his/her pension higher than mine?”, “why does he/she still have a salary?” etc!

But the people will not fall victims to this ruse, no matter how much the government officials persist. They should keep in mind that, if they go on like this, they should expect extreme social phenomena and reactions.

They cannot and do not intend to take money from those who have it, since it is their interests they are after protecting, thus they turn against the weak members of our society, whom they have led to impoverishment and suffering.

They are totally indifferent towards social deficits and concentrate on the notorious surplus, no matter what the cost for the country and its citizens may be.

Enough already, we cannot take it any more!

This governmental policy has failed long ago due to mistakes, incapability but most of all because of the strategic alliance of foreign and domestic decision makers wanting Greece to change its social and economic profile and its developmental model; all those masterminds on one hand admit that their policies have led to a dead-end and on the other continue their downhill course, taking us with them.

Regarding their new provocative statements about “penthouse jobs”, the truth is clear and self-evident.

The special Insurance Funds absorbed by the Social Security Institute (IKA) from August 2008 were supposedly governed by the relevant laws, rules and regulations in force, however, they were soon transformed into “blood donors” and “poor relatives”, since the pensions and welfare benefits provided by them were subjected to a haircut.

Mr. Minister, have you indeed forgotten by whom, when and how much the reserves of the social security funds and the employees' social contributions were plundered?

Have you forgotten all about the haircut of the insurance funds by means of the infamous bonds, resulting to zero reserves?

Are you all, Members of our Government, aware of the fact that the pensions have been reduced by 50%, in some cases, due to the numerous blood-sucking cuts?

And it is at least provocative from your part to claim that the pensions of the Public Corporations and Organizations (ΔΕΚΟ) Funds are high compared to the Social Security Institute (IKA) pensions.

We believe that you know very well that more than 70% of the Social Security Institute (IKA) pensions, for 15 years of insurance, are at the lowest level, however, you deliberately compare these pensions to the pensions provided by Public Corporations and Organizations (ΔΕΚΟ) Funds to their insured who have completed 35 years of insurance.

What kind of misleading comparison is this?

Do you know that those insured at the former Personnel Insurance Fund of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (ΤΑΠ-ΟΤΕ) have been paying contributions of 42% for main and supplementary pension for 35 years, whereas those insured at the Social Security Institute (IKA) and other funds pay 26%?

When our insurance contributions are up to 80% more than those of the insured at the Social Security Fund (IKA), what kind of logic lies behind the characterization “privileged insurance categories”? Isn't it true that you are merely attempting to conceal you goal to “evenly” eradicate all pensions?

And what about the high amounts the insured have been paying as insurance contributions during all those years, Mr. Minister? What happened to them?

Our rights are easily renamed as “privileges” by those who deliberately mislead the public by libeling certain sectors, for many and various reasons that everybody can understand.

Their aim is to turn society against those who work in these particular sectors and organizations, using their well-known methods.

By government decision, the funds of the Public Corporations and Organizations (ΔΕΚΟ) were supposedly integrated to a special account and their assets were transferred there and consequently looted, while the deficits that your policies are responsible for cannot be covered, since you also gradually cut the government subsidies.

And then you claim that the amounts of pensions and other benefits are high, but, we ask you, what do you intend to do about the evasion of insurance contributions, about the unprecedented unemployment rates and the economic growth that will bring new jobs for the people and income for the insurance funds?

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Government, please explain to us which exactly is the developmental and social model you are implementing, since your actions have no cohesion whatsoever.

When it comes to the social security and welfare sectors (medication, health care), the general rule seems to be: “those who can pay may survive, the rest should go ahead and die”.

Some time ago we had written about the sustainability of the insurance funds in connection to the passing of the new insurance laws, when the Government was confident that the system would endure and that this was the only way to achieve it. What they finally achieved was the extermination of the retired population, and not just figuratively, since the pensioners will not be able to survive.

It seems that their plan has been put into effect.

The insurance model they are after has nothing to do with capitalization, redistribution or compensation.

It is plainly unfair and socially inflexible.

 

Colleagues,

According to the Press and the grapevine, we will soon have new modifications on pension age and new cuts.

However, according to the Constitution, the relevant legislation so far as well as the memorandum laws (where it is explicitly mentioned), “the legislated pension rights are protected from potential modifications”.

The general pension age for those who establish pension rights after 1/1/2013 is 62 for reduced and 67 for full pension.

In case the relevant laws are applied uniformly for everybody, with no transitional provisions excluding certain categories, so that no one may retire before the age of 62, many insured who do not yet have all retirement requirements are in danger of falling into the 62 or 67 general rule.

Whose rights are in danger, in case the relevant provisions are no longer in force and 62 is considered the lowest retirement age for everybody?

Mothers of minors for whom special retirement age provisions were applicable until 31/12/2012, giving them the possibility to establish retirement rights with completion of 18,3 years of insurance at the age of 50 (for reduced pension) and 55 (for full pension), in case they do not yet fulfill the age requirement.

Mothers of minors in general, who are about to retire under special applicable provisions and are waiting to fulfill one particular requirement in order to secure their pension rights.

Women who have completed 25 years of insurance and are waiting to reach the required age or women who have reached the retirement age and are waiting to complete the required years of insurance.

Men who had completed 25 years of insurance until 31/12/2012, thus establishing their right for retirement at the age of 60 for reduced and 65 for full pension.

Are those insured before 1983, who have completed 35 years of insurance but do not fulfill the age requirement in danger?

Yes, this is possible, because they fall into the category of those who retire before the age of 62, despite the fact that in their case it is not considered as early retirement.

Until today, the fact that the above category is entitled to full retirement has not been disputed.

However, in case it is considered that the age of 62, which is the general rule for those who establish retirement rights after 1/1/2013, applies for everybody and is considered early retirement, then the above category could also fall into this rule.

Those insured during the period 1983-1992, depending on the year of completion of 35 years of insurance, in some cases were entitled to retire before the age of 62.

If we take into consideration the threat that the penalty for those who retire earlier than the retirement age will be increased to more than 6% for each year of earlier retirement (which is in force currently) and will also be calculated for more than 5 years, then it is possible that this form of blackmail may force the insured employees to remain at their posts, because otherwise their pensions may be reduced by 50%.

There are still many issues that need to be clarified, so as to be able to know for sure how the government officials intend to apply the relevant laws and what may change in the end.

The scenario regarding the retirement age is “nobody retires before the age of 62 or 67”, while the penalty for early retirement will not be 6% for each year of retirement before the retirement age for full pension and 30% maximum, but the reduction will be calculated at the basis of the new general retirement age for full pension, which is 67.

However, we should repeat that these are just rumors or even deliberate leaks, designed to cultivate fear and panic and that they all concern the period after 1/1/2014.

Our intention is not to cause distress or apprehension but to inform you on what has been said and written, which may not be far from the truth and the way that these particular provisions will be interpreted; nothing is yet clear nor is it certain that all these will not be put into effect.

We have seen and lived through so much during the last years, that nothing can surprise us any more, however, it seems that we have not yet hit rock bottom.

We will keep you posted on the developments.

For issues and questions pertaining to insurance, you will always find valid information at the relevant section of the POST site.

We cannot and will not give individual advice to to anybody regarding what he/she should do, as nothing is clear and even those specialized on and responsible for relevant matters refuse to provide unambiguous answers on what might change, when and how.

This issue has yet to be resolved, since, according to its tactics, the government has yet to go through the process of leaking to the public ominous provisions in order to measure the reactions and then, if necessary, taking them back.

We are prepared to provide you with all relevant information, as soon as things are clarified, so as you will know all new laws and you will be able to decide accordingly; of course, this applies to those who can retire under the provisions in force today, because those who have not yet established the retirement requirements are unfortunately trapped and have no choices.

As for those who have already secured retirement rights but have not yet retired, we advise you to think things through calmly.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Government,

We urge you to come round and readjust your course of action and politics, otherwise the tide of the people will carry you away.

Protect our labor rights and the welfare state provisions.

Stop messing with our salaries and pensions.

Protect the weak and give jobs to the young.

Enough is enough!