Pensions and Retirement System in Turkey

November 29, 2023by Bünyamin Esen0

Old age, as an extension of adulthood, is defined as a phase in which intense physical and psychological changes occur in the later period of life. The World Health Organization considers individuals aged 65 and over to be elderly. However, this only defines the limit of chronological age. The aging that occurs in tissues and organs with advancing age is biological aging. On the other hand, social values and cultural structure also determine the concept of old age and the place of the elderly within the society.

Retirement is one of the major periods of change in one’s life and is often the first major change that older people face. The retired person will first of all lose his/her income, his/her ability to earn in his/her profession, and, in this regard, his/her social roles and powers will also change. Individuals who cannot adapt to these losses experienced with retirement may feel worthless, unimportant, lonely, empty and helpless. They may have difficulty planning the rest of their lives. They may feel like they are a burden to their relatives and the society, and sometimes they may display angry attitudes towards the others. However, when the strong emotions that arise with retirement are recognized and adapted to this new situation, retirement will enable the individual to develop his/her personal development and bring a new perspective to life.

Ensuring that retirees in Turkey, who have contributed greatly to the development of our country throughout their working lives, can use their retirement rights in the best way is among the leading duties of the social state. In order to fulfill these duties, the unity of norms and standards has been achieved with the Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Act No. 5510, which was prepared to create a unified structure where social security services are provided to all individuals with equal scope and quality. Technical infrastructure studies have been accelerated by the Social Security Institution, as the responsible authority for managing pensions, and a wide range of studies are carried out in both social insurance and healthcare fields in order to provide higher quality and sustainable services.


Basic Concepts About Retirement in the Turkish Social Security System

As the Turkish Social Security Legislation is a in a dynamic structure, certain conditions must be met in order to make certain payments to individuals from long-term insurance branches. For understanding the conditions for benefiting from pension, the basic concepts of the Turkish Social Security Law regarding pensions should be understood. The three main concepts for retirement in Turkey are “insurance period”, “number of premium payment days” and “retirement age”. For becoming a pensioner, one must fulfill these conditions as provisioned in the relevant law and in the Act No. 5510.


First Condition for Retirement: Insurance Period

The insurance period is taken into account as the period between the date the insured person first started working under disability, old-age and survivors insurance and the date he/she made a written request for allocation (retirement request), and for deceased insured individuals, the period between the date of death.

Example: The insurance period of an insured person who started working under a service contract for the first time on the date of 01/08/1982 and requested an old-age pension on the date of 30/09/2009 is determined as follows by subtracting the date of first employment from the date of the allocation request:
Allocation Request Date = 30/09/2009
First Employment Date = 01/08/1982
Insurance Period = 29/ 1/ 27 (27 years 1 month 29 days)


Second Condition for Retirement: Number of Premium Payment Days

The concept of “number of premium payment days” refers to the number of days of the period covered by disability, old-age and survivors insurance. Regardless of the premiums are being paid by the employer or not, the declared service days are being considered within the premium payment days.


Third Condition for Retirement: Age

One of the conditions required to benefit from the rights regarding pension from old-age and survivors insurance is “age”, and the age requirement at the date of allocation request is determined by subtracting the date of birth from the date of allocation request. For being retired, an insured must fulfill the relevant age condition, to which he/she is subjected to the relevant law.

Example: The date of birth of an insured who requests allocation on 30/03/2010 is 25/06/1953 and the age requirement for this insured is 57 on the date of request.
Allocation Request Date: 30/03/2010
Date of Birth: 25/06/1953
Age: 05 / 9 / 56 (57 age requirement has not been met, the person have not yet fulfilled the age of 57)

Bünyamin Esen

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