Changes to Greek pension legislation, and in particular the reforms introduced by former labor and social security minister Giorgos Katrougalos, have led to a significant drop in the number of citizens applying for early retirement, with civil servants, and teachers in particular, among those increasingly reluctant to leave the work force, Kathimerini has learned.
According to official figures seen by the newspaper, only 227 teachers had lodged applications for retirement by mid-April this year, compared to 419 last year and 1,309 in 2015.
That followed 1,920 retirements in 2014 and 2,188 in 2013, after 1,480 in 2012 and 1,481 in 2011.
In 2010, the year Greece signed its first international bailout, applications for retirement reached a record high of 3,976, compared to 1,745 in 2009 and 1,783 in 2008.
Education Ministry official Vassilis Paliyiannis told Kathimerini that a series of cutbacks over the years had made teachers fearful of retiring.
“Apart from the reduction of main pensions, auxiliary pensions are up in the air now too, while the lump sum [that pensioners receive on retirement] is constantly being reduced,” he said.
“That’s why teachers choose to keep on working and securing their salary which is higher [than their pension],” he added.
A deal agreed between Greece and its creditors earlier this week, following months of negotiations, foresees fresh reductions to pensions worth 1 percent of gross domestic product in 2019. This follows 12 cuts to Greek pensions since the signing of the first bailout in 2010.