ATHENS -- The recent social insurance reforms introduced in 2020 will "guarantee the sustainability of the social security system until 2070," Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) released on Sunday. According to the minister, the changes will not affect the age of retirement or established pension rights, while the size of pensions is also fully protected.
Vroutsis also announced that the pilot implementation of the digital pension system "Atlas" will soon begin for those working in healthcare and for disability pensions, who are expected to join the system in March 2021.
The minister said the reforms will allow the self-employed and farmers to freely choose which insurance category they want each year, as their income has been separated from their social insurance contributions.
They also encourage awareness of the need to pay social insurance contributions, as pensions are calculated based on contributions after more than 30 years of work.
Vroutsis said the time frame for the law's full implementation began in March 2020 and will be completed in December 2021, during which time outstanding back payments will be paid and the most important function of the national social insurance body EFKA will be fully digitised (e-EFKA).
He also highlighted an increase in transparency, with the publication of the monthly "Helios" and "Atlas" reports, an effort to finally clear the backlog of pending main pension applications, and the next stages of rolling out of the 'Atlas' system, the second of which is due in March 2021, with civil servants, private employees and engineers to be added in September 2021 and lawyers, journalists and the self-employed at the end of 2021. The first stage, involving farmers and widow-widower-surviving civil partner pensions, has already been completed.
The first new pensions using the new system, increased on the basis of the new proportional rates for those with 30 years or more of contributions, along with the relevant back payments, will be paid out in the first third of 2021, while also during this time, working pensioners will start to receive 70 pct of their pension.