ECONOMY

Pension system deluged by retirement applications

pension-system-deluged-by-retirement-applications

The pension system is being severely tested by a bigger-than-expected wave of applications for retirement and pensions.

This wave was especially pronounced in January and February, but authorities say that there is always a spike in applications toward the end of the year, a lot of them coming from teachers.

Experts estimate that, by the end of the year, the backlog of applications for main and auxiliary pensions may exceed 300,000, severely testing the government’s promise for a swift approval of pension applications, a process that, until recently, took several years.

Just in July, the number of new retirement applications reached 20,000 and that of approvals (not for them but for older applications) reached 16,000, creating a “deficit” of 4,000 just for that month alone.

At the end of July, there were 147,000 applications for main pensions and 88,000 for auxiliary pensions pending for more than 90 days, a significant increase from early 2019.

At the same time, the government has promised European Union officials that such backlogs will be cleared by the end of 2021.