Average Greek retires before 58

The average retirement age in Greece stands at just 57 years and eight months according to a survey conducted by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

The survey used a sample from the quarterly work force report from the April-June 2012 period for people aged between 50 and 69 years, and reached some very interesting conclusions.

The average age of retirement for men is 58 years, while for women it is a few months earlier. Less than one in three (28.3 percent) of the respondents said that obligatory retirement was the main reason for their exiting the labor market. Almost six out of 10 had secured the right to retire, while a 5.7 percent share of workers stated that they had exited the market due to health problems.

It also appears that the age of retirement is affected by education level, due to its connection to work and the social security system. It was found that those who have only obtained an elementary education (primary school leavers) are more likely to retire later, at the average age of 59 years and three months. In contrast, the more educated a worker is, the earlier they retire, with the average age of retirement for university graduates standing at 56 years and four months.

Private social security programs account for a minimal share of pensioners – less than 0.2 percent (2,208 people). The vast majority of people (88.1 percent) receive their pensions from a public social security fund, while just over 0.2 percent (3,885 people) receive a combination of state and private pensions. If one adds those who are on their way to obtaining a pension from a private sector schemes, it emerges that no more than 6.6 percent of people turn to private funds for their pensions.

On the other hand, a very high number of 1,216,495 people aged between 50 and 69 years have opted against retiring for now even though they have attained that right after their years of service. Pensioners on the grounds of age account for 38.9 percent (473,690) of retirees, the ELSTAT survey has shown.