Wave of retirements arrives

Labor Ministry and EFKA officials fear a major increase in applications for main pensions

Wave of retirements arrives

Officials at the Labor Ministry and the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) are fretting about a swelling retirement wave toward the end of the year, as the collection of September data is set to be completed.

In the year’s first six months the figures were particularly worrying: Some 84,000 applications for main pensions were submitted, when even in the difficult year 2019, with its massive rush of retirements, amounting to 165,944 in all, there had been 79,887 applications in the January-June period.

Still, sources say that in August there was some predictable respite, with applications remaining below 12,000, after ranging between 13,500 and 15,000 per month until then.

Therefore the period from September to December is considered crucial, as a major increase in retirements is anticipated from primary and secondary education professionals due to the changes introduced by the new Education Ministry legislation. A rise in applicants is also expected from civil servants, who file for retirement toward the end of the year when they reach the age level required. Over the January-June period some 7,000 civil servants submitted their retirement papers, against around 3,500 in the same period in previous years.

Experts estimate that by the end of the year retirement applications will reach a high of 200,000, or even exceed that figure. EFKA management predicts a figure of 160,000 in its latest report on the Atlas online pensions system.

Official figures showed applications amounted to 83,905 in the year to end-June, against 73,049 in the same period last year. Eventually the total number of retirees applying for their main pension in 2020 came to 161,719.

Under the fear of a dramatic increase in applications over the coming months, the ministry felt forced to issue a statement to stress the retirement age will not be raised in 2022, and that workers who secure the right to retire within 2021 need not hurry and apply from this year.

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