Turkey: Erdogan drops retirement age requirement ahead of election

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan removed a retirement age requirement on Wednesday, allowing more than two million workers to retire immediately, just six months before an election in Turkey.

A news conference on Thursday will announce the much-anticipated presidential policy move. Last week, Erdogan’s AK Party delivered a substantial increase in the minimum wage as part of a bid to regain support lost because of inflation, the lira’s depreciation, and a sharp decline in living standards.

People who began working before September 1999, when the law governing retirement requirements changed, and who have completed 20-25 years of social security registered working life, will benefit from the new arrangement.

The prior retirement age of 60 years for men and 58 years for women has been eliminated. It isn’t yet known how much the new system will cost, but Erdogan states that 2.25 million people are eligible to retire immediately. There are currently 13.9 million pensioners in Turkey.

For several years, labour groups have been protesting against the minimum age requirement, asking that workers be required to complete the required number of workdays to retire rather than retire at a young age. The change is seen as a boost for Erdogan before an important election due in June.

Erdogan has gone through a period of 20 years of suppressing dissent, which has pushed the Turkish lira down to one-tenth of its value against the dollar ten years ago.

A regulation released on December 28 does not cover all workers, according to a story corrected on January 3.


Image Credit: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

Tags : Erdogan