Tens of thousands of workers who have secured the right to retirement ahave rushed to submit their pension applications before new social security reform measures go into effect. Experts estimate that at least 40,000 retirement applications have been submitted by civil servants and private sector employees from the start of the year to April.
As former Labor Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis explains to Kathimerini, half of the 80,000-85,000 applications that had been anticipated for the entire year have already been submitted within the first four months of 2016.
This may actually be the last wave of departures, as the option of early retirement has been off the table since the summer of 2015 and the new method of calculating the amount of each pension makes it more beneficial to stay at work longer (if possible) than to retire.
In the public sector in particular, where the new system for calculating pensions means a reduction of up to 25 percent, retirement applications have been several times above the number expected. This will also generate several times more problems than expected through staff shortages created in specific sectors, such as public healthcare and education.