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Pensions reform: if minimum required years raised to 20, tourism sector workers at risk to never receive pension

Creditors want to raise the number of minimum working years required for the basic pension. If this happen, thousands of temporary workers, especially in the tourism sector are at risk to never receive a pension.

During a meeting with Greek Labour Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, the creditors tabled the proposal to raise the minimum required years for a pension from 15 to 20.

This will raise also the required social security stamps from 4,500 to 6,000.

According to Greek media, the creditors claimed that “the requirement of 4,500 stamps act as a disincentive for employees to remain in the labor market.”

Such a raise would put at risk thousands of seasonal workers like those in the tourism sector to never manage receive a pension. Not only because they cannot collect 6,000 stamps as they wok an average of 6 months per year, but also because due to high youth unemployment of 50%, more and more Greeks enter the labor market much later than in previous years and decades.

The proposal would hit also seasonal workers like in farming or construction – but construction is dead in Greece, anyway.

Note: I realized some reader misunderstood the whole issue thinking that one can get pension at 35, if one gets 4.500 stamps or have paid social contributions for 15 working years. That’s WRONG! One has to reach the normal pension age which is 67 for the Greek private sector.

One working 6 months per year in the tourism sector, needs some 30 calendar years to manage 4,500 social contribution stamps.

The proposal has been made by the Troika also in the past.

The pensions reform discussions are still ongoing, the Greek government is expected to present its plan for pension reforms in early January.

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  1. In the UK you cannot get the state pension until you are 65 (and that will be increasing very soon). You cannot get the full state pension unless you have worked and paid national insurance contributions for at least 30 years. Greece’s pension provisions seem extremely generous compared to the UK.

    • here we talk about the minimum pension, not full pension. How about seasonal workers or freelancers who have occasional jobs?

      • This is just nonsense from the English guy. You get old age benefits from the age of 60 (including free bus passes) and it is possible to get a state pension from that age if you have enough contributions. If you do not, you will get social assistance (at any age) which does not exist in Greece, along with housing benefits and other social benefits.

        Having said all that, of course life is not easy for pensioners reliant on the state pension (or social assistance) unless they bought their own property. The looney right Thatcherites and Blairites managed to fuck up the economy so badly with property speculation and ripping people off becoming a principal activity, as opposed to economic production and exports. Now, property prices and rentals are so high that nobody other than the stinking rich can afford to buy without having a prior house to sell — and those who rent are mostly in extreme poverty and poor living conditions.

      • Fair enough, but in the UK you can’t get any state pension at all until you’re 65.

        • Yes, I seem to recall that until Thatcher it was possible for women to take a state pension at 60 and men at 65. This was ruled as unlawful discrimination so Thatcher increased it to 65 for women.
          Of course, the state pension system in the UK is of only limited relevance to the middle class, who have occupational pensions or even state worker pensions in addition to the National Insurance system. This makes the UK middle class look very different from the Greek middle class — with the exception of the small crooked schemes (at one point, over 300 of them) — that gave higher benefits to their employees by virtue of state subsidies. Most of these are now closed down, or merged with IKA etc. Of course, as in all EU countries, Greek state employees get higher pensions and more benefits than ordinary people.

  2. Please. What are these workers doing for the other 6 months of the year? Working in the black economy.

  3. Greece needs a national minimum pension like the UK (State pension)
    Many Greeks will never get a full pension anyway due to as KTG says high unemployment, and also ‘off the books black employment’
    Many people work unofficially since IKA is 41% of the salary!

    So 1. Lower IKA to 20% like the UK.
    2. Minimum pension for everyone at 65, even those who couldn’t work in their lives like many Greeks today.

    Of course current pensions will fall, the days of pensions in Greece over 1000 euros a month are about to end forever.

    • if salaries are nowadays max 700 euro/per month pensions will be some 400. Oh wait! that’s Greece’s private sctor. there are other standards for Greece’s public sector. still better paid, still better pensions.

  4. What happens to those who will not have the full requirement. In the UK you get a proportion of the total. At the moment you need to work and pay national insurance for 30 years to get the full, basic state pension of £115.95 per week. If you have only worked 25 years (for example) you will get 25/30 of the total. These requirements are about to increase from 30 years to 35 years but the basic pension also increases to £150 approx.

    • the pensions reform will finalized in early January. so we have to wait because there is lots of crap about it in the mainstream media.