Bank of Greece (BoG) Gov. Yannis Stournaras on Monday referred to the “urgent need” for the three pillars of post-employment income – the state’s social security system, private pensions, and individuals’ savings and investments – to offer future beneficiaries the widest possible range of pension benefits.

Speaking at a book presentation in Athens, the influential Greek central banker pointed out that Greece’s pension system differs in structure from other more advanced Western countries. He also reiterated that Greece has low private insurance levels and even lower participation levels in sector pension funds.

“Beyond the demographic aging of the population, there’s also an issue of the improvement of the standard of living of each succeeding generation, which increases demands for ever-higher post-processing benefits. It’s clear that a gradual reform of the pension system requires a strengthening of these pillars of capitalization, so that both employers and employees themselves can entrust part of their retirement income to them,” the Bank of Greece Governor said.

Pensioners have borne the brunt of the harsh austerity measures and the implementation of necessary structural economic reforms after the financial crisis that hit the country in 2010 which almost resulted in its expulsion from the European Union.

Meanwhile, Greeks faced the 4th highest risk of poverty or social exclusion in the European Union (EU), according to a report released by Eurostat data from 2023.

Specifically, 26% of Greeks are at risk, which is above the EU average of 21.4% and just below that of Romania (32%), Bulgaria (30%) and Spain (27%).