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9 questions and answers about fast track pensions and 'trust pensions'

Anna Dollari
9 Feb, 2023
trust pensions

trust pensions

trust pensions

1. What are the fast track pensions and the 'trust pensions' you are establishing?
They are two new weapons that we are throwing into the "battle" in order to speed up the pension issuance process even more and to put an end to the hostage situation of thousands of insured persons who are often forced to wait years to receive their pension - for which they have paid contributions - having only the pension advance to make a living. Both settings combine the now increased technological capabilities within the EFKA, with the necessary trust of the state towards the citizen. The combination of the two elements leads to acceleration.

2. How do fast track pensions differ from "trust pensions"?
Both fast track pensions and "trust pensions" are new institutions aimed at speeding up the granting of pensions. Fast track pensions are a permanent institution, which applies to pension applications from now on. On the other hand, "trust pensions" refer to the elimination of the stock of pensions that has been created in EFKA. In other words, fast track pensions are about the future, while "trust pensions" are about the past. But in both cases there are three common elements: the use of technology, trust in the citizen and finally speed.

3. What are the provisions for fast track pensions?
There is an express deadline of three months - starting with the submission of the pension application - within which the pension must be issued. At this time, the EFKA service must check the insurance history of the applicant and decide whether he is entitled to a pension and its amount. If he does not manage to complete the process within three months, then he issues the pension based on only two data: First, the insurance history as recorded in EFKA's "ATLAS" electronic system. And secondly, the declarations and data that the insured have submitted with their application for retirement to document that they have more time than what the EFKA system "sees". That is, after the end of the quarter, the data submitted is not verified before the act of awarding the pension, but is checked afterwards. In the meantime, however, the insured receives his pension without waiting, as he has been waiting until now. This is the basic philosophy of the fast track pension process.

4. And in "trust pensions" what are the main characteristics?
"Trust pensions" refer to pending pensions. The measure will apply to pension applications submitted by March 31. For these cases, the pension will be issued on the basis of the data of the insurance history as it is now in the "ATLAS" electronic system and the declarations of the insured for the recognition of additional insurance time which will be accepted, without the need to present the documents documenting them . That is why the process here will be even faster and will be based on the state's trust in the insured ("trust pensions"). And in this case, the verification of the submitted data and supporting documents will be done after the fact. And the insured are obliged to keep physical documents that they may not have presented to EFKA for 10 years, so that they can be presented during the audits.

5. Are there any new provisions to speed up the issuance of supplementary pensions and lump sums?
A period of three (3) months is established for the issuance of a supplementary pension, which begins with the issuance of the main pension, as well as a period of six (6) months for the grant of a lump sum, starting from the date of submission of the relevant request. These periods - including of the three-month deadline for issuing a main pension - do not apply to international pensions, i.e. to pensions issued with the assistance and participation of insurance institutions of other states.

6. If this measure is the "bazooka" to get pensions out quickly and close the issue of pending pensions, why didn't you implement it earlier?
Because in the past there were not all the electronic systems and technical data that exist now. And also because the vast majority of pending pensions concern the years 2020 and 2021, when applications for retirement are now submitted electronically. Therefore, the conditions are now ripe - mainly from a technological point of view - for these measures to be implemented. The "ATLAS" information system of EFKA - in which the insurance history of the insured is kept - is enriched with more and more data. It is much more usable now than in the past. At the same time, as already emphasized, the new pension applications (2020, 2021, 2022) are only submitted online. In short, the EFKA's digital transformation had to mature to a sufficient degree for this tool to be implemented and to be effective.

7. And what will happen to cases of deviations and errors? In cases where the declared insurance period turns out to be shorter than the actual one?
First of all, it is important to know that in at least 50% of the cases, the EFKA calculations and the pending pensioners' calculations regarding the insurance time are the same. Therefore in half the cases there is no problem and any delay that occurred in the past was doubly unfair to the pensioner. In the other cases, the relevant control will be carried out and EFKA will fully integrate ("trust pensions") or partially (fast track pensions) the comments of the pending pensioner. Then, after the pension has been issued, if the checks carried out by the EFKA find discrepancies, the necessary offsets will be made. If e.g. there is a discrepancy between the declaration and the actual insurance -less than two years-, the insured will have the possibility to cover the difference, i.e. the missing contributions and continue to receive his pension normally. In the remaining cases, where a larger pension has been paid than it should have been, the extra money will be recovered with the relevant procedures permanently provided for by the State. The system has safety features to prevent errors in the calculation of pensions. As we respect taxpayers' money, so do we respect the self-evident right of pensioners to receive their pension quickly.

8. And if the information provided by the pensioner is false?
Then it is predicted that the penalties permanently provided for defrauding the Public Administration will be imposed. The State respects the insured with the institution of "trust pension", therefore it has the claim from the insured that he in turn respects the State. In any case, it is foreseen for the insured to keep the necessary documents for a certain period of time, so as to facilitate subsequent checks by the EFKA services.

9. But is all this a result of the ineffectiveness of the measures applied to date for the pending pensions?
The opposite. The measures taken so far have paid off and even impressively. From 123.00 main pension decisions in 2019, we reached 224.000 decisions in 2021. An increase of 83%. This is an all-time pension issuance record. At the same time, the advance payment of a national pension was established and thus even before the pension is issued, tens of thousands of pensioners can be covered by the institution. While the involvement of certified lawyers and accountants, which has recently been put into practice, will help, as both they and the insured who used their services confess, to speed up the entire pension process. Those who have resorted to certified lawyers and accountants publicly declare that they have drawn their pension in record time. Therefore, what is happening is very simple: Next to the measures that have already been implemented to speed up pensions, the two new regulations are being implemented, fast track pensions and "trust pensions", which combine technological developments within the EFKA with trust towards the citizen . And it is certain that all these measures will pay off in the next few months, definitively solving the problem of pending pensions.

 

 

photo Alexandra_Koch / https://pixabay.com/ 

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Anna Dollari

Anna Dollari

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