25. Retirement and termination benefit obligations


Greek labor legislation requires that the payment of retirement and termination indemnities is based on the number of years of service to the Company by the employees and on their final remuneration. The Group grants retirement indemnities which exceed the legal requirements. These retirement indemnities are unfunded and the liabilities arising from such obligations are actuarially valued by an independent firm of actuaries. The last actuarial valuation was undertaken in December 2017. The principal actuarial assumptions used were a discount rate of 1.5% (2016: 1.5%), future salary increases of 1.75% (2016: 1.75%) and pension regulated by Laws 2112/1920 and 4093/2012.


The Group's U.S. subsidiaries operate defined benefit plans and other post-retirement benefit plans. The method of accounting for the latter, as well as the valuation assumptions and the frequency of valuations are similar to those used for defined benefit plans.

All of the Group's U.S. subsidiaries' defined benefit pension plans and all but one of its other post-retirement plans have been frozen as to new participants and credited service. One post-retirement benefit plan exists (for certain active and former employees) whereby eligible retirees receive benefits consisting primarily of assistance with medical insurance costs between the dates of early retirement and Medicare eligibility.

On 31 December 2017 the plan assets of the Group's subsidiaries in the US have invested approximately 58% (2016: 58%) in equity instruments quoted in US and international stock markets and 42% (2016: 42%) in fixed investments (US and international bonds). The discount rate that has been adopted for the study of the pension plans of the Group's subsidiaries in the U.S. was 3.5% (2016: 4%).

Non-qualified deferred compensation plan

This plan is intended to constitute an unfunded plan of deferred compensation for a selected group of highly compensated employees under the Employee Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). For this purpose the Group's U.S. subsidiary created an irrevocable trust to facilitate the payment of deferred compensation to participants under this plan. Under this plan the participants are eligible to defer from 0% to 20% of eligible compensation for the applicable plan year. On 31 December 2017 and 2016, plan assets totaled €4,169 thousand and €4,364 thousands, respectively, and are classified as other non current assets in the accompanying consolidated statement of financial position (note 17). There were no costs for the plan for the year ended December 31, 2017 or 2016.

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