Cyprus Mail

Bank of Cyprus improves voluntary retirement scheme terms

Bank workers’ union ETYK said that Bank of Cyprus agreed to extend the deadline of a voluntary retirement scheme by 15 days and make its provisions more attractive after a similar scheme announced in February failed to convince the desired number of workers.

The union, which was commenting in a statement on its website on Wednesday after a meeting with the management of the bank said that Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, agreed to maintain rates of existing loans extended to workers stable after they agree to benefit from the scheme.

In addition, Bank of Cyprus agreed that workers who will voluntarily retire will keep their life insurance policies and will remain covered by ETYK’s healthcare scheme for another ten years, the union said.

ETYK added that the union does not consider redundancies as the “right solution” which “should therefore not be on the table”.

The Cyprus News Agency reported that the terms of the new scheme will also apply to workers who volunteered for the previous plan announced in February.

According to a Bank of Cyprus source, the previous scheme attracted less than 70 Bank of Cyprus employees compared with a target of up to 300 of its 4,160 employees.

According to the previous scheme, workers would receive 50 per cent of their monthly salary for every year they served at the bank, provided they worked there for less than 15 years. Compensation would increase to 75 per cent of the monthly salary for every year of service for the next 15 years of service and to 125 per cent for every year of service for those of over 30 years at Bank of Cyprus with a €200,000 cap, or up to 70 per cent of the otherwise remaining earnings until retirement.

The bank offered then entitlement to medical care and life insurance until the end of 2016.

Since 2012, Bank of Cyprus offered two other voluntary retirement schemes as a result of which a total of 1,577 workers accepted, with the bulk of them doing so after the banking crisis.

Bank of Cyprus also completed its new organisational structure which provides for a reduced number of staff compared to the current one, the Cyprus News Agency reported, citing Michalis Persianis, Bank of Cyprus’s director of corporate affairs.

“We are therefore offering a voluntary retirement scheme as implementation of the new organisational structure begins,” Persianis was quoted as saying.

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