The Associated Press August 11, 2011, 1:18PM ET

Greek pension fund stops payments to the dead

Debt-ridden Greece's biggest pension fund has stopped payments to 1,473 pensioners over the age of 90 after finding out they are no longer alive.

The state-run Social Security Fund also says it will sue people who were illegally pocketing such pensions and try to recoup euro1.9 million ($2.7 million) that has been paid into the accounts of the deceased.

Thursday's announcement follows a continuing fraud investigation after officials found that some 9,000 Greeks aged over 100 are receiving pensions. The latest census, in 2001, listed fewer than 1,700 people as aged over 100.

Greek authorities also are probing suspected disability and welfare fraud after noticing suspiciously high numbers of beneficiaries.

Greece is kept solvent by international rescue loans and is undergoing a harsh austerity program.

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