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Minister urges constructive dialogue on early retirement proposal

Συνέντευξη στο ΚΥΠΕ – Υπουργός Εργασίας Γιάννης Παναγιώτου
Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou

Public rejections of a government proposal for those retiring before the age of 65 serve no purpose, as dialogue is still ongoing, Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou said on Saturday.

The minister was speaking to CNA after Sek union publicly turned down a proposal put forth by the ministry.

“We consider the public announcements about the rejection of the government’s proposal unacceptable, as it tabled as a basis for debate and not for a vote in favour or against.”

Panayiotou highlighted the discussion over reduced pensions for those who choose to retire before the age of 65 continue. The discussions will ultimately benefit around 10,000 pensioners, he added.

He stressed that the International Labour Organisation was tasked with a study to assess the capabilities of the social insurance fund for changes in actuarial reduction for early retirement before the age of 65.

Based on the findings, the government prepared a proposal presented to all involved parties to begin the basis of discussions. “We are open to suggestions, provided they do not increase the overall cost.”

Talks with the Labour Advisory Board will continue on Monday, he added.

Should the existing proposal be rejected, around 10,000 pensioners that would have benefited, will lose the possibility of having an extra €800 per year for each, Panayiotou specified.

“Therefore, 8,614 pensioners who have had an actuarial reduction from 2012 to 2022 and another 900 or so new pensioners in 2023, making up 25 per cent of all those affected by the actuarial reduction to date, will lose the opportunity to increase their incomes.”

There will also be an additional 1,000 new pensioners every year that will miss out, he added.

Asked about the next steps, Panayiotou said he expects all involved parties to engage in discussions in a constructive manner.

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