Pension cuts near certain, as Quartet to return next week

The Greek Labour Ministry is speeding up the introduction of last minute tweaks to the measures necessary for reform in the social security system in the wake of the April 4 meeting Greece’s creditors.

These tweaks include reviewing plans for ancillary pensions and lump sum packages. The up to 25 percent cuts in lump sums has already been decided upon, with the head of the Social Security Nikos Kalakos predicting this measure could help the fund record a surplus by 2017. The Greek side also plans to slash between 10 to 20 percent of ancillary pensions.

Labour Minister George Katrougalos claims the country’s lenders back the Greek proposal, except the IMF representative whose position would reduce the new pensions by 30 percent, while also affecting the lowest and invalid pensions. The Quartet have agreed for the reduction of the high pensions, with the target of cutting pension costs of 1.8 billion Euros to be reviewed in 2017.

Meanwhile, the head of the Greek Social Security Institute (IKA), Miltiades Nektarios echoed the general concerns over the sustainability of the fund in a an event stressing that if the pension issue was not immediately addressed the state would be handing out pensions equal to those in Bulgaria.

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