Unemployment Insurance Fund Reserves Grow to €530 Million ({{commentsTotal}})

Reserves held by the Unemployment Insurance Fund swelled to 530 million euros at the end of last year and are expected to increase by 55 million this year.

Both employees and employers have petitioned the government to decrease the mandatory unemployment premium and the new coalition has signaled it will cut the rate from 3 percent (2 percent paid by the employee and 1 percent by the company) to 2.4 percent from 2015.

The rate was only 0.9 percent before the economic crisis but was increased to 4.2 percent. That rate was cut to the current figure at the beginning of 2013. The fund's coffers also swelled accordingly, growing from 132 million in 2009 to 470 million by the end of 2012.

The reserves have long been the subject of wrangling, with some social partners saying they should be used to pay out more benefits while the government has been more geared toward finding a way to manage the sum as an investment, bringing the reserves under direct treasury control.