Employed Greeks who belonged to special state and bank retirement funds rushed to retire early now that all security funds have been incorporated to the Social Security Fund (IKA).
Figures from Helios — the Labor Ministry database — show that in the last four months, nine out of ten employed Greeks who opted for retirement were under the age of 62.
Between September and December 2014, 76.33 percent of all new retirees insured in the public sector were under 62 years old. Of those, 91.96 percent were insured in special security funds.
In the years of the economic crisis that brought several labor reforms, employees in the public sector opted for early retirement in order to get the large retirement bonus they are entitled to. The lump sum public sector employees get when they retire has been subject to cuts in the past four years. Many employees who had worked more than 25 years in the public sector used special clauses and loopholes in order to get an early pension and secure the retirement bonus while it is still large.
Also, the Greek government has “aided” many public sector employees to retire early in order to produce smaller numbers of public employees, in compliance with the reforms proposed by Greece’s international creditors. The voluntary exit programs introduced by the state, generated many early retirees.