Pension reform-related decisions spell increased contributions for several castes of professionals

Increases in social security contributions for several categories of employed people have been unveiled and described in two ministerial decisions published this week in the government gazette.

The increases, on top of various tax hikes, affect self-employed professionals, merchants, craftsmen and farmers that were beneficiaries — and mostly obligatory contributors — to the OAEE, ETAA and OGA pension funds, all three of whom were recently absorbed by a new unified pension fund in the country, known as “EFKA” in its Greek-language acronym.

According to analysts, the highest increase will mean up to a tripling of monthly contributions in certain cases, whereas individuals showing less than 16,000 euros in annual income during 2015 are expected to benefit from the changes.

Based on the new social security law that was drafted by the Tsipras government and ratified last year in Parliament, self-employed professionals lumped into the previous OAEE fund will be called on to pay contributions of 26.95 percent (20 percent for their primary {future} pension, and 6.95 percent for health care) of their net income.

The rate reaches 34.5 percent for beneficiaries of the one-time ETAA fund for self-employed professionals; 21.2 percent for professional farmers.

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