“EFKA now belongs to the “club of countries” that can issue a pension in approximately less than 2 months” said the commander of the Electronic National Social Security Agency (e-efka) Alexandros Varveris during the briefing of the competent Special Committee of the Parliament regarding the course of our insurance system.

Mr. Varveris referred extensively to the many and all-level problems that have existed along the way since the mergers of the Funds into one entity. Now, he said, the single Operational Coordination Center has been created, whose main objective was to de-escalate the pending pension requests. The Digital Control Center, the so-called “Control Tower”, has been created, where we can monitor the development of issues every day. The fast-track and trust pensions law, the governor said, “untied our hands”, as “an extra help was the certified partners for the issuance of pensions”.

He also mentioned the usability for the insured of 1555, the ticketing system and the MyEFKA Live digital room, noting that “these have solved many problems and now the degree of suffering of the insured is less”.

Regarding overdue liabilities, the governor stated that “in January 2021 these were 557 million euros and in September 2023 they have been reduced to 2 million euros.

Publications of pensions – supplementary – one-off

“The path of development of overdue pension requests today is below the 30,000 applications” said Mr. Varveris, pointing out that with the creation of a project team created in July 2021 headed by a project manager, “we eliminated the pending pensions with an application date before 2021, we optimized the flow automations. We have recently uploaded the so-called “electronic DAYK” which has to do with State pensions and we are making steady progress so that there is no problem again. Today, we have reached the point after 27-28 months where around 680,000 pensions have been issued. That is, about 1 in 4 pensioners today has taken their pension in the last 2.5 years, and we are pleased to be able to issue about 1,100 decisions a day. The average waiting time for a pension request has fallen to around 60 days.

The commander of EFKA emphasized that according to the official data from ISSA, from the International Social Security Organization that studies the progress of pension requests, “the Organization belongs to the “club of countries” that can issue a pension in approximately less than 2 months , when Germany is at about 74 days…”.

About the ancillary pensions and lump sums, Mr. Varveris said that in December 2022 there were 83,000 pending. In March a big effort was made and they cleaned approx 40,000 additionally in the same month. The rest of the beneficiaries of supplementary pensions have received an advance payment, while we also had a huge reduction in lump sums as well as these applications have fallen very low.

The commander of EFKA explained that the delays in the lump sums are due to the fact that the presenters are dealing with special payrolls and with special categories of employees. Regarding the pending international pensions, he said that they amount to 17,000

When asked about the miscalculations in the pensions from the “fast track” procedures, the commander of the EFKA stated that “this percentage was around 12.9%” and that “we courageously recognized it and now this percentage is decreasing to zero ” adding that “it was better for 87.1% of people to get their pension correctly and for 12.9% to have some possibility of error than not to get a pension at all and go into the manual process”. Regarding the revenues of EFKA, he replied that these will be increased by approximately 1 billion euros in 2023.

The new goals

Mr. Varveris, setting the next goals of EFKA, stated that “our first concern is to keep the rate of issuance of pension requests unabated and to reduce it further”. He pointed out that the goal set by Labor Minister Adonis Georgiadis is “at the end of the year to have dropped from 31,000 overdue pension requests to around 25,000”, although he noted that “many of these requests are not easy to get out as they are either pending decisions by KEPA (Disability Certification Center), whether there are debts, or they do not have pension rights”. EFKA, he explained, does not reject these cases – although it could – as it provides an opportunity for the insured to find a solution either with fictitious years or to wait for the decision from KEPA.

The second goal is to clear the supplementary pensions and the new provision that will be submitted to the Parliament “will really help us a lot to clear to a very large extent the requests we have for the supplementary pension.

Thirdly, the reduction of time in KEPAs.

At the same time, the transitions of electronic systems continue. As there are 250 different systems. The aim is to increase the volume of digital transactions. In this field, an important role will be played by the Organization’s integrated information system, the creation of a model Educational Center.

The commander of EFKA noted that the departure of 900 experienced executives was a blow to the Organization. The covered organizational positions are approximately 6,700 positions out of the 8,500 positions that the organizational chart has. Approximately 845 positions are reserved by ASEP, while approximately 150 are expected in the first quarter or four months of the new year.

Our goal also, said the commander of EFKA, is to completely automate the services of maternity, sickness, etc. Through the new digital system, we also have unified financial management so that we can run forecasting models. As well as the modernization of the KEAO which is the only collection mechanism of the Organization to acquire a new information system.