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Court rules scrapping 13th & 14th pension was “illegal”, orders return of €11K

A  first-instance court in Thessaloniki ruled that austerity cuts scrapping the 13th and 14th pensions were illegal and ordered the pension funds involved to return the money. The court ruled that  70-year-old IKA pensioner Odysseas Tsologiannis has to await for a total amount of 11,184 euros.

The pensioner had filed demanding 25,000 euros including interest and compensation for “moral damages.”

His first lawsuit was dismissed by the court because he had no legal counsel but after he retained a lawyer and filed a second suit, the first was also taken into account, he explained.

Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Tsologiannis said that he had decided to sue after his pension was slashed from 14 payments of 2,000 euros in a year to under half that at present,  starting with the abolition of the 13th and 14th pensions amounting to 4000 euros a year.

“Now I am at the point where I get one thousand, while my supplementary pension has dropped from 562 euros [a month] to 130 euros,” he said.

He noted that the court has also awarded him 100 euros in moral damages for the period from January 1, 2012 and July 23, 2015.

Tsologiannis expressed the belief that the pension funds will not have the right to appeal against the court’s decision since it was based on a Council of State ruling. He said he would continue to sue over the cuts because “they are continuing to withhold money, even in laws where I was vindicated”.

He also urged other pensioners to file suits against the pension funds EFKA and ETEAEP as he had done, saying that the court would be obliged to find in their favour since his case would act as a precedent.

EFKA has appealed against the decision and the case will be examined at a higher level by the Thessaloniki Administrative Appeals Court.

Legal experts, however, note that the specific ruling might act as a precedent for similar cases in the future. they war, however, that pensioners can claim back for a period of no longer than two or three years and not since the beginning of the measure in 2012.

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