By Chrysostomos Tsoufis

Five income increases in 2024 for retirees, picking up where 2023 ends.

From 1/1/2024 approximately 2.5 million pensioners will receive an increase in their main pensions of approximately 3.5%. The 3% comes from half of the sum of the inflation and growth increases (based on current estimates which of course can change) while about half a unit is the … last year’s debt since the growth rate turned out to be higher than the initial estimates. It is estimated that:

-1.5 million pensioners will get the entire increase

-300,000 pensioners will get part of the increase since they will have to offset it with the personal difference.

-750,000 will not see anything in their pocket, but they will reduce their personal difference which will put them in a more advantageous position for pension increases in the coming years.

However, these 750,000 – to be precise for those whose personal difference is greater than €10 – does not mean that they will not get anything. Just before Christmas the government has decided to give – as last year – the so-called personal difference allowance as compensation. Since the increase in the main pensions is smaller than last year, the allowance will also be smaller, specifically:

-€200 for the sum of pensions up to €700

-€150 for pensions from €701 to €1100

-€100 for pensions from €1101 to €1600

In addition, approximately 300,000 pensioners, who retired between 13/5/2016 and 30/9/2019, with more than 30 years of insurance have also received. Based on the Vroutsi Law which provides for higher replacement rates for those insured with more than 30 years, their pensions were recalculated, their personal differences were zeroed out and they receive retroactively in 5 installments. In 2024 they will receive the 5th and final tranche, so for them the increase will be double as they will also receive 3.5%

The 4th increase indirectly supports the wallet of pensioners as the exemption of former EKAS beneficiaries from the pharmaceutical expense is made permanent. The specific pensioners – who belong to the lowest income bracket, and who are also beneficiaries of EKAS – were obliged to pay 15% for the purchase of their medicines, so the benefit for them can be significant.

The winners for 2024 also include retirees who have chosen to work. The provision is under examination by the Auditing Congress but the aim of the Ministry of Labor is from the new year to stop the penalty of withholding 30% of the pension and to replace it with a contribution of 10% on the remuneration from the work.

For example, a €1000 pensioner who also has an occasional job that earns him €500 a month loses €300 from his pension – provided he has declared that he is working. Now he will keep his pension in full and will lose only €50 from his salary.

Of course, pensioners will also benefit from the granting of the heating allowance as well as the provisions that will be received for the electricity bills.