By Chrysostomos Tsoufis

After completing the “open front” with the platform of working pensioners, which has been working and with spectacular results since its very first day of operation, the Ministry of Labor sets its sights on the next “challenge”, the retirement of debtors with debts of up to 30,000 €.

According information from ministry of labor and EFKA they decided not to proceed with the creation of a separate special platform as the prevailing scenario until now said. Instead, an independent electronic service will be created which will be included in the pension application process of the self-employed.

“It would be as if we were making people do double work” a government official commented to since EFKA knows who and how much they owe and “these people” will simply apply for a pension. In essence, a separate platform would have no reason to exist, he explains. Based on the current schedule, this online service will be ready to be integrated into the retirement application around mid-April.

This service will only concern freelancers with debts from €20,000 to €30,000 and farmers with debts from €6,000 to €10,000.

By submitting the pension application, in specially designed fields, they will consent to the lifting of their banking confidentiality, in order for the EFKA services to ascertain whether and how many deposits there are and to understand whether it is a strategic defaulter or an insured who at some point was affected by some misfortune with resulting in the swelling of his debts.

Of course, his age and whether he has completed at least 20 years of insurance will be checked.

Based on the legislative framework, if the debtor’s application is approved, he will initially receive 40% of his pension.

The remaining €60 will be withheld for the repayment of the part of the debts that exceed €20,000 for freelancers and €6,000 for farmers.

Once the debts fall below these 2 limits, then the remaining debt is settled in 60 monthly installments and the amount to service the settlement is withheld from the pension.

According to the EFKA database it is estimated that around 110,000 legal and natural persons self-employed and self-employed they have debts between €20,000 and €30,000 and total debts of €2.6 billion

There are approximately 27,000 farmers with debts between €6,000 and €10,000 and total debts of €175 million.

It is estimated that 10-15% (13,700 – 20,550) meet the conditions of retirement.

The creation of the service for debtors is expected to unblock a significant number of pending pension cases which are currently estimated at just over 20,000.