Labour ministry amendment to correct problem with index for calculating pensions

Greece’s labour ministry on Friday tabled a last-minute amendment that aims to correct a problem that has arisen with the formula for calculating pensions, following an announcement by Greece’s statistical agency ELSTAT earlier in the day that it lacked the data required. The amendment was attached to a health ministry bill on the administraiton of mental health services and related issues.

The amendment stipulated that the calculation of the contributions-based segment of pensions issued between now and 2020 will be temporarily based on the change in ELSTAT’s annual consumer price index.

After this period has elapsed in 2021, there will be a switch to the new method of calculation based on an index for the annual fluctuation of wages.

Earlier on Friday, ELSTAT announced that the available statistical data at its disposal cannot be used to produce an index for the annual fluctuation of wages since this is different from the Labour Cost Index that is produced and published by ELSTAT.

ELSTAT said this conclusion was reached following consultation with the Hellenic Actuarial Authority and the General Secretariat for Social Insurance, following a request submitted to ELSTAT last November. It noted that this divergence had also been pointed out by the Hellenic Actuarial Authority in relation to a previous request relating to the calculation of pensions, implementing a law passed in 2010.

According to ELSTAT, the references in the law to “an annual change in wages as determined by ELSTAT” were included without prior consultation with the authority as required by law.

The statistical authority had proposed that the Hellenic Actuarial Authority and the general secretariat examine methodologies used in other countries in order to draw up a national methodology for calculating such an index, with ELSTAT’s support, while denying that it had been working on such an index for nine months.