Self-employed, farmers to pay lower contributions towards pensions as of Jan. 1

Contributions by freelance workers, the self-employed and farmers towards their pension will drop from 20% to 13.3% once a new law is voted, Labor Minister Efi Achtsioglou told News 24/7 radio station on Tuesday.

The draft law for the reductions, which will include other professions as well, will be tabled within the week, she said.

“Starting on January 1, 2019, the percentage of income that freelance workers, the self-employed and farmers will contribute to their main pension will drop from the current 20% to 13.3% for the first two professional categories and from 18% to 12% for farmers,” Achtsioglou said.

She added that doctors, lawyers, and engineers will also contribute lower amounts for their supplementary pensions and the once-off bonus retirees get. “The amount they contribute will be the minimum set by law, that is, 64.5 euros per month; in addition, this will apply retroactively, from January 1, 2017,” she said.

The current government, she said, “went ahead with a great insurance reform that introduced unified rules in calculating contributions and pensions for all insured people and pensioners, and linked an individual’s contributions to the pension that person gets.”

Criticizing the main opposition and PASOK, she said their agreed consecutive pension cuts still resulted in an insurance system with a deficit of 1.1 billion euro and hundreds of thousands of unpaid pensions. “How is it possible to cut pensions back so many times, and still end up with such a deficit?” she asked.