ATHENS – With more brutal pension cuts coming, Greek workers are scrambling to retire as fast as they can.
Some 40,000 applications were submitted by public sector and private sector workers from the first of the year until June, the newspaper Kathimerini said.
It takes at least a year before receiving benefits and three years or more to get auxiliary pensions, but those are being scaled down dramatically.
Current pensioners now are receiving them only each three months, if at that, as Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras reneged on promises not to benefits again and bowed to demands of international creditors.
Tens of thousands of workers who have secured the right to retirement have rushed to submit their pension applications before new social security reform measures go into effect.
Workers are trying to avoid more cuts by retiring now and the Finance Ministry expects about 40,000-45,000 more applications this year before the retirement age is raised.
In the public sector, where the new system for calculating pensions means cuts up to 25 percent, retirement applications have been far higher than anticipated and will create shortages in some areas, particularly health care and education.