Pensioner at 43? Turkey introduces Early Retirement

World | January 4, 2023, Wednesday // 15:28
Bulgaria: Pensioner at 43? Turkey introduces Early Retirement @Bloomberg

Over 2 million Turks will be able to retire at any time as long as they have worked for at least 7,200 days. Critics warn of the dangerous consequences of this pre-election move by President Erdogan, writes Deutsche Welle.

The door of the Pension and Social Security Office in Istanbul's Unkapani district is locked. However, a long line has formed on the sidewalk in front of it - people are waiting for the lunch break to end.

The 49-year-old toy seller Murat, who is among those waiting, started working at the age of 13. Now he wants to know if he can retire immediately. "Actually, 49 is too early," he admits. "But if the state gives you such an opportunity, you should take advantage of it," he adds.

And Aishegül has come for the same conclusion. “I have been working since I was 16,” says the woman. “I admit: retiring at 43 is early. But in this country it's extremely exhausting, especially for working mothers,” says the restaurateur. "Because it's not just the workplace - we also work in the household and with the children." She personally feels very drained by it.

Repeal of the minimum retirement age

Similar queues are currently being seen in many places after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the minimum retirement age would be abolished. According to him, this will affect about 2 million people. Until now, women had the right to retire at 58 and men at 60. From the middle of January, only the time worked will be taken into account. This means that 7,200 days of service will qualify for retirement.

People waiting in line welcome all this. Fatma is another example: "I'm happy because otherwise I would have waited another three years," says the 54-year-old Turkish woman. ”My husband is a pensioner, but what's the use of a pension? Still, God bless Tayyip Erdogan! Yes, everything has become more expensive, but it's not his fault.”

Income is often not enough

The Turkish president will count on such votes in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. But many people - unlike Fatma - blame his government for the desperate economic situation in the country. Its currency is collapsing and inflation is at least 80 percent. Pensions are very often not enough.

Right now, Firdevs is going through all this on the back of his family. Her father has just retired and receives around 200 euros. She says that he is having a hard time making ends meet. "I'm happy for him because now he has a chance to get a pension and work extra. That way he will have more income."

Working pensioners

Quite a few people in Turkey continue to work even after taking a pension. This is how they help themselves to support themselves. Fatma's husband works overtime, and Murat, from the queue at the pension office, is also thinking about whether he should do the same.

A young woman, who does not wish to be named, joined the queue for her uncle. She thinks that what is happening is unfair. "Many people continue to work even though they also receive a pension. It's a scam. I've just finished my education and I'm looking for a job." According to her, working pensioners should free up the labor market.

Future generations will pay the bill

Another problem is that the earlier people receive pensions, the earlier they stop making contributions to the insurance system. So it is in danger of collapsing in the long term, says the woman, who did not want to be named. "This is at the expense of future generations," economist Senol Babuscu told Turkey's Karar TV. "How much damage we are doing to future generations remains to be seen."

The upcoming costs of the Turkish state are also not yet known. But the Labor Minister predicted the bill would come out to at least €5 billion.

Generous campaign gifts

It is not the first costly measure ahead of this summer's elections. Erdogan's government recently increased the minimum wage and salaries in the state administration.

Economist Babuscu sees early retirement as a gift to voters. "In order to win the elections, almost 2.5 million people were given the right to retire early," he points out. "Whether that is right or wrong is another question. It is certain, however, that it will put a heavy burden on the treasury."

No legislative change has yet entered into force for early retirement. It is yet to be submitted to the parliament in mid-January. But after Erdogan's promise, the vote appears to be just a formality.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook

Write to us at

Информирайте се на Български -


We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

World » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Retirement, Erdogan, age, turkey

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria