Re-affiliation at the Greek Post Pension Fund (TEA-ELTA)

Following the document no. 2224/13.03.2020 of the Professional Insurance Fund it has been asked whether an active employee of the Greek Post is allowed to request again the registration after he/she exercised the right to statutory withdrawal, due to the completion of 15 years insurance period, namely if the quality of beneficiary creates a legal obstacle for his/her re-affiliation in TEA-ELTA.

 

According to art. 7 paragraph 10 of the Law 3029/2002 that governs, along with other provisions, the operation of the above voluntary professional insurance fund, the insured person can request the termination of his affiliation after one-year insurance period and after one month notice period. Thereafter, the person can wait for a benefit or even receive the relevant benefit if the legal conditions are met. In such a case, this seems not to be a permanent write-off, which leads to the insurance alienation from the professional fund. As soon as the affiliation conditions at the TEA-ELTA are met, the insurance expectation continues.

On the issue of maintaining the status of insurance expectation, after receiving an insurance benefit, if the affiliation status of the insured person is maintained, there is a legislative and regulatory gap that must be filled interpretatively.

In article 6 of Law 3029/2002, it is foreseen that the insured person can be permanently deleted from the membership list of the fund once he/she has requested so. On the contrary, if both parties implicitly wish to continue the benefits expectation, then the insurance relationship continues, as there is no explicit will for a definitive termination.

Looking for a problem solution, we should take into consideration the freedom of association and the equality of treatment principle, which is enshrined not only in the art. 4 and 12 of the Greek Constitution, but also in article 7 of the statute of TEA-ELTA. This regulation provides that every employee in the branches covered by this fund has the right to subscribe to it. In other words, the statute of the fund is not allowed to introduce discriminations among the persons who are working in his material scope of application (art. 7 paragraph 9 of the Law 3029/2002). Moreover, as a general principle of the insurance law, any person is entitled to an insurance protection if the relationship between him/her and the fund is active when the insurance risk takes place. Cases of disruption of this bond include the change of occupational orientation (in such case the person will probably be insured in another fund) and permanent termination of the employment. Even in these cases, if the contributions are tacitly received by the fund, there is no reason of refusing a request for re-affiliation. We identify here an involuntary regulatory gap which according to the above arguments should not be interpreted as a tacit refusal to re-affiliate the employed persons.

Consequently, in similar cases the interested persons can successfully submit an application for re-registration in the TEA-ELTA.