November 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm #157335
I am a UK national working on a short term (3 year) contract in Athens and I do not as yet have a pension scheme (either in the UK or in Greece). Is anyone aware of Greek pension schemes that are transferable (upon payment of a fee I suspect) should I return to the UK? Any thoughts gratefully received!
November 17, 2011 at 12:46 am #188363
Welcome caroline…a few of the old Brits will be awake soon and may answer your query 😀
November 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm #188364
in greece the “national insurance” is various funds depending on employment. the most common being IKA for employees and TEBE now OAEE for self employed. these offer a complete insurance you cannot just choose one (medical, unemployment, pension). the participation is mandatory.
so if you are going to be employed on contract your employer must arrange for you IKA and whilst the contributions are supposed to be a percentage for employer and a percentage for employee usually the employer will arrange and pay everything. IKA is a considerable amount like 30-40% of salary. it is based on the declared salary so some companies may play with that declaring less than actual salary.
there are cross border agreements for national insurance and especially within the eu and i am not sure of the details but i believe its ok for uk. likely once your contract finish the company will not help you to transfer it back to the uk for continuation there and you will need your own accountant for that. probably you must make enquiries in uk too now because it likely may be a new thing to any greek accountant.
considering that the greek payments and pension benefits are in excess of the uk. probably the amounts paid in greece would be partly “wasted” but what can you do its mandatory and anyway you probably need the healthcare cover in greece unless you are covered by private scheme (which is a far better choice considering the greek hospitals but it is another expense).
January 31, 2012 at 5:19 pm #188365
Unlike anywhere else in Europe, Greece does not allow the transfer of state pension contributions unless you have 15 years of contributions. The best thing you can do is to continue paying UK Class 2 Self-Employed NIC which shouldn’t be more than a couple of £ per week – that way, you’ll keep your state contributions up to date in the UK.
I did that, and having just returned to the UK after 9 years I’m glad I did when I found out my years of paying into the Greek state system were basically lost – unless I continued paying for another 6 years. Plus, which system do I trust will be more able / likely to pay out when I retire??
I hope that helps.
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