Greek pensions ‘generous’

Greece’s pension system is among the most generous in developed countries, in terms of the benefits/last working salary ratio, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), «Pensions at a Glance.» The report notes that an almost unique feature of the Greek pension system is that it does not discriminate in favor of the lower paid when they retire. And so, high-, medium- and low-paid workers receive pensions equal to 100 percent of their last net pay, or 84 percent of gross pay as pension, when the OECD average is 84.1 percent for the low paid, 68.7 percent for the medium-paid and 59.4 percent for the highly paid. Greece competes in generosity to pensioners with Luxembourg, Turkey, Austria and Hungary, while the least generous nations are the US, UK, Mexico, Korea, New Zealand and Ireland, whose pensions may vary between 50 and below 40 percent of the last working salaries. The OECD report makes for the first time a direct comparison of pension systems of member states, taking into account all the details of each, including all types of mandatory pensions for those working in the private sector. It also takes into account the effects of taxation and social insurance contributions on living standards before and after retirement, revealing that it is a parameter with a significant influence and large differences between countries.