Four in 10 new pensioners who received their first pension this month are aged up to 61 years old, and some are as young as 51, according to data from the Helios register of the Labor Ministry.
Widespread fear in recent years of possible changes to the social security system, and loopholes in various laws allowing for retirement before the age thresholds of 62 (early retirement) and of 65 (full retirement) have prompted thousands of workers to apply for their pensions even earlier in their careers.
In September, those receiving a pension for the first time and were aged up to 61 years accounted for 48.5 percent of all new pensioners. This figure has dropped to 42.7 percent this month, according to the data. In February alone there have been 18,316 new pensions issued, of which 11,412 were main pensions and 6,904 were auxiliary pensions.
According to the Helios system, total expenditure for the payment of these pensions (including the retroactive payment due to the delay in pension issues) amounts this month to 61.06 million euros.