The administration at main power utility PPC is looking to reinstate a retirement age limit in order to avoid having to take extraordinary measures such as yesterday’s in order to remove pension-aged employees from the utility’s payroll. They have chosen to carry on working amid the recession, despite having qualified for retirement.
It was decided yesterday to offer roughly 200 pension-aged PPC employees respective bonus payments of 15,000 euros in exchange for voluntary retirement. Should they reject the offer, these employees will be forced to leave without any bonus retirement money.
The retirement age limits – 60 for employees working heavier jobs at the utility’s mines and power stations, 62 for employees working in administration and 65 for managers – will apply for both the utility’s bonus package and general retirement rules from now on.
PPC officials estimate that around 1,000 employees will reach these retirement ages – 60, 62, and 65 – in 2018 and 2019. According to the new company rules, all 1,000 or so staff members will need to retire once they hit their respective age limits.
As part of the second bailout in 2012, state utility work contracts, essentially offering lifetime employment, including for PPC staff, were revised and their retirement ages were made indefinite, the intention being to enable job cuts, even prior to normal retirement ages. However, the succession of governments backed away fearing the political cost of cutting state utility jobs.