Greek civil servants scramble to retire over fears of pension cuts

Greek civil servants scramble to retire over fears of pension cuts

Fears that reforms demanded by Greece’s international creditors will see retirement benefits plunge further have prompted hundreds of civil servants to apply for their pensions, a report by Ethnos daily said on Friday.

According to Ethnos, more than 5,500 public workers have submitted the paperwork needed to be pensioned off in the last few weeks, while it also estimated that 60,000 civil servants will become eligible for retirement by the end of the year.

From 2009, when the Greek economy started to crash, and until the present, the Greek civil service has shrunk by 340,000 workers, the report said.

The first year of implementation of the first bailout deal with international creditors, 2010, saw the biggest wave of departures, with 53,335 civil servants retiring. While their number declined in following years, it remained above 30,000 on an annual basis.

The departure of thousands of civil servants has reduced state payroll costs by 35 percent compared with 2010, Ethnos said, though there are concerns about how pension funds will cope with the spike in payouts.

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