GREECE – New pension reform proposals including the introduction of a universal retirement age of 65 could mean savings of about GRD21trn (e61.6bn) out of a total GRD120trn over 25 years, according to an announcement by the Greek Ministry of Labour.
The labour ministry announced its pension reform plans prior to a cabinet meeting today (April 19) on the subject.

The ministry also proposes an amendment to the way of calculating benefits as well as an integration of the present large number of government pension funds.

According to one proposal, the universal retirement age could be raised gradually to 65, starting in 2007, says Panagiotis Zampelis, managing director at consultancy Athens Actuarial.
Zampelis adds that pension benefits exceeding 80% of salary are also under threat, and that
benefits are now likely to be based on average salary rather than final pay.
The current pension fund system is dependent on the state, and in order to integrate the system the labour ministry proposes, for example, to merge all public service funds into one, says Zampelis.

Talk of a commercial second pillar pension fund sector is also in the air, but any concrete results are yet to be announced.
Zampelis comments: “There is a proposal to agree on second pillar, but its form is not yet clear. This would be a private sector, in agreement between the employers and the employees, so we’ll have to wait a few days.”

The announcement of the proposals follow meetings between the labour minister Tasos Yannitsis and national economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou on Tuesday (April 17) and Yannitsis and prime minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday (April 18).