Understanding the recent pension reforms
On 24 August 2021, the government approved an initial pension reform that will bring some changes to retirement for all workers.
The sustainability of retirement pensions is a recurring and much-talked-about issue, and the Gobierno del Estado and its social agents have been working on reforming it for a long time, and have now approved the first package of measures.
In this initial block, the objectives are to guarantee the revaluation of pensions and the purchasing power of pensioners, as well as to lengthen the retirement age, providing incentives for workers to extend their working lives and penalising early retirement. We review the main measures that have been approved.
What are the main measures implemented?
- In order to guarantee their revaluation and the purchasing power of pensioners, pensions are linked to the CPI (Consumer Price Index) recorded in the previous year. Thus, they will be automatically increased from 1 January in line with inflation.
- Early retirements are penalised by increasing the reduction coefficients that calculate them. This reduction coefficient is increased, for example, from 16% to 21% for workers with less than 38 years and 6 months of contributions who wish to take early retirement by two years.
- Forced retirement clauses, which oblige workers to retire when they reach the legal retirement age, are eliminated and can only be maintained in agreements already signed and in activities where women represent less than 20% of the workforce.
- Incentives for workers who extend their retirement beyond the legal retirement age, consisting of a pension increase of 4% for each year of continued employment, an equivalent lump-sum payment, or a combination of the two options.
- Improving the financing system to ensure sustainability by establishing an annual transfer from the national budget to the social security system.
The second package of pending reforms
Thus, the short-term objective is to bring the retirement age in line with the real age, extending the working life of workers and, therefore, their years of contributions to the system. At the same time, the Gobierno del Estado is working on a labour reform that would provide greater stability, in which it would propose a reduction in temporary contracts, pursue subcontracting and recover collective agreements, among other measures to be applied.
Likewise, some other measures envisaged in the draft bill have been left out, such as the postponement of the retirement age to 67, the increase in the number of years of calculation that form the regulatory base of the pension, or the reform of maximum pensions. However, it is expected that the government will look into approving these measures in the future and possible new changes.
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