By Dimitris Katsaganis
It clarifies the “status” for recognizing remaining time for receiving a pension as well as the legalization of completed insurance time.
By issuing successive circulars, the e-EFKA makes clear the possibilities of insured persons who have not completed the minimum insurance period, once they reach the age of 67, to recognize up to 150 days of insurance in order to retire.
Also, for those who have been insured for at least 500 working days or for 20 months within a calendar period of 5 years before the date of submitting the retirement application to proceed with an optional continuation of their insurance, for a period of up to three years from the submission of the retirement application.
Furthermore, it is stipulated that the insurance period of persons who have in good faith been covered by the insurance of the entities, sectors, branches and accounts included in the e-EFKA, due to employment or status, while the legal conditions were not met, is counted as insurance period in the e-EFKA and the relevant insurance contributions are not refunded, as long as no cancellation decision has been issued.
1. Recognition of remaining time for receiving a pension – Supplementing time with optional insurance
In particular, two possibilities are given to those insured who have not completed the minimum required insurance period to receive a pension. Particularly:
– The possibility is given to those insured in social security institutions who joined the e-EFKA, who reach the age of 67 by 31/12/2022, to recognize up to 150 days of insurance or 6 months, in order to establish the right to full retirement due to old age, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the pension legislation of the entities in which they were insured.
– Those who have been insured for at least 500 working days or for 20 months within a calendar period of 5 years prior to the date of submission of the retirement application are given the opportunity to make an optional continuation of their insurance, for a period of up to three years from the submission of the retirement application.
* Recognition of remaining time to receive pension
Beneficiaries for this recognition are insured in former Social Security Institutions that joined e-EFKA.
In order for the above insured persons to recognize insurance time in accordance with the above provisions, the following conditions must be met cumulatively:
– To have reached the age of 67 by 12/31/2022.
– To have carried out a total of 4,350 to 4,499 days of actual insurance, cumulatively in one or more bodies that joined the e-EFKA.
– To have permanently stopped employment/activity and real or optional insurance.
– Not have submitted a retirement application.
– Not to have retired from any source in Greece or abroad.
– Not be entitled to a pension for any reason in accordance with the statutory provisions of the entities that joined the e-EFKA, or with provisions applied to the State or the Bank of Greece or by foreign insurance entities.
– Not to have recognized more than five years of fictitious insurance time.
The recognition is done in order to establish a right to full retirement due to old age in accordance with the applicable provisions of the pension legislation of the bodies in which they were insured.
Calculation of recognition contribution
Recognition is made by a one-time payment by the insured of the insured and employer contributions, which correspond to the recognized insurance time, based on the daily wage of an unskilled worker in force at the time of recognition.
There is no discount, no other way of paying the contributions, and in order for the time to be effective, the contributions must have been paid.
The request for recognition of Employees and Non-Employees is submitted to the Department of Insurance and Contributions of the Local Directorate of the place of residence, except in the case of freelancers (e.g. OAEE), for which the request is submitted to the Local Directorate of the headquarters of the professional activity. This is followed by a check of conditions and issuance of a relevant Decision.
* Top up time with optional insurance
The optional continuation of the insurance of the above provision can be applied to those insured in e.g. social security institutions that joined the e-EFKA.
Conditions of affiliation
The conditions for affiliation are the following:
– To have submitted a retirement application.
– To have been insured for at least 500 working days in the case of employees or 20 months in the case of the self-employed within a calendar period of five years prior to the date of submission of the pension application.
– To have stopped the insurance in e-EFKA.
1. In order to be included in the mentioned optional continuation of the insurance, the insured will not be referred to Health Committees, regarding the non-disability of the insured.
2. Since the provision mentions working days the five hundred days or 20 months of insurance should come from compulsory insurance.
3. The total time of optional insurance cannot exceed three years from the date of retirement.
4. The application for inclusion in the above provisions of optional continuation of the insurance can be submitted even if, during the examination of the retirement application, it is found that there are up to 3 years left to complete the conditions for old age retirement.
5. The provisions of paragraph 2 of article 53 of Law 4921/2022 also apply to pension applications that are pending when the law comes into force.
6. The time of optional continuation of the insurance starts from the date of submission of the retirement application and lasts for a period of time that cannot be less than – except for the month of submission of the application for employees – 25 days of insurance per month and one month for unemployed
Calculation of optional insurance continuation contribution
Regarding the method of calculation and payment of contributions, the basis of calculation of contributions, the reasons for interruption, suspension, loss, the deadline for payment of contributions, additional fees, the provisions of Law 4387/2016 apply.
The competent Insurance and Contributions Departments, once they are informed of a request for affiliation, will check the conditions for affiliation, issue a relevant Decision and monitor the entire process.
The optional continuation of insurance is carried out in order to complete the minimum total insurance time to meet the conditions for old age retirement.
2. Legalization of elapsed insurance time
A special regulation is established for the legalization of the insurance period of persons who had in good faith been covered by the insurance of the entities, sectors, branches and accounts included in the e-EFKA, while the insurance conditions provided for by law were not met.
– It is provided that the insurance time of persons who have in good faith been covered by the insurance of the entities, sectors, branches and accounts included in the e-EFKA, due to employment or status, while the legal conditions were not met, is counted as insurance time in the e-EFKA and the related insurance contributions are not refunded, as long as no cancellation decision has been issued.
– It is stipulated that in any case, contributions paid and collected are considered to correspond to insurance time, if the correct affiliation of the insured to the insurance body that collected them has not been disputed by e-EFKA within five years from their payment.
The provisions apply from the date of publication of the law in the Government Gazette, i.e. from 18.04.2022.
The scope of application of the new provisions includes the insured persons of all e-EFKA members, e.g. agencies, sectors, branches or accounts (except for civil and military employees and the insured persons of the e.OGA) who were erroneously included in their insurance, due to employment or capacity and continue their insurance in e-EFKA, with the same capacity – employment.
In order for the period of time that has passed incorrectly to be legalized as insurance time in the e-EFKA, the following conditions must be met cumulatively:
– Actual existence of employment, capacity or profession.
– Inclusion in the insurance of the above entities, sectors, branches or accounts without the insured meeting the conditions determined by the relevant provisions of the above entities, sectors, branches or accounts.
– Bona fide inclusion in the insurance of the above entities, sectors, branches or accounts, i.e. absence of fraudulent action or behavior both during the inclusion in the insurance and during continuation.
– Payment of the corresponding insurance contributions and their unconditional collection by the above institutions, sectors, branches or accounts.
– Non-disputing by the e-EFKA of the insurance period in the above body, sector, sector or account, within five years from the payment and collection of the insurance contributions.
– Non-issuance of a deletion decision (for the self-employed).
When the competent bodies of e-EFKA establish the absence of the legal conditions for inclusion and continuation of the insurance, the possibility of legalizing all or part of the insurance period must be immediately examined, taking into account whether or not it has been disputed by e-EFKA the correct affiliation of the insured to the former insurance institution, sector, branch or account within five years since the corresponding insurance contributions were paid.
The time that is legitimized is counted as time of actual insurance in the above institution, sector, sector or account and subsequently in e-EFKA.
The insurance is now correctly continued in e-EFKA, based on the activity, employment or status of the insured.
Incorrect inclusion in the insurance, e.g. body/sector/sector/account due to employment – a status that continues in e-EFKA as well. The Department of Insurance and Contributions of the competent Local Directorate of e-EFKA ascertains on 2/6/2022 that an insured person who had in good faith been subject to the compulsory insurance of the OAEE since 01/04/2004 as a “nurse” should have been subject to the provisions of of article 2 of the a.n. 1846/51, as applicable, in the compulsory insurance of the father IKA – ETAM. The insured in question has paid all of her insurance obligations and continues with the same employment at e-EFKA without having been questioned until the time of the audit as to her inclusion in the insurance of the former institution. In this case, the time that has passed since the date of inclusion in the insurance of the former OAEE (04/01/2004) and subsequently in the e-EFKA, is legitimized as follows:
– From 01/04/2004 to 30/06/2017 it is considered as time of actual insurance in the former OAEE and then in the e-EFKA (former OAEE), as regards time beyond five years from the payment and collection of the insurance contributions .
– From 01/07/2017 onwards, it should be arranged with insurance in accordance with the provisions of the IKA – ETAM (accounting of contributions to the liable employer) given that five years have not passed since the time when the incorrect affiliation to the OAEE. NOTE: The insurance as a tenant will start from 01/07/2017 because the insurance in e-EFKA (ex OAEE) covers the whole of 6/2017.