The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, José Luis Escrivá, assured this Monday that the modification of the maternity pension supplement is “practically closed”. This bonus, which is currently charged by women who have had two or more children, was introduced in 2016 by the Government of Mariano Rajoy. Escrivá has advanced in an interview in the program Red Hot that it has “practically reached an agreement with the unions and the employers on this matter” to “reduce the gender gap in the pension system.”
The modification also comes because the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decreed in December 2019 that article 60.1 of the General Law of Social Security that recognizes this supplement is discriminatory for men. The ruling agreed with a father of two daughters who had requested this supplement.
The aforementioned article provides that the incentive is recognized only to women beneficiaries of any type of contributory pension, be it retirement, widowhood or permanent disability “for their demographic contribution to Social Security.” The new wording provides that men can also access the incentive, since the contribution trajectories of the parents will be analyzed to find out which of the two had the biggest gaps in their working career to dedicate themselves to caring for their children.
The supplement now in force amounts to 5% for women who have had two children, 10% for three children and 15% after four. It is also recognized in the case of adoption.
“We have the problem, especially of women who, after having their first child and especially the second child, leave the labor market. This we are about to correct. We have practically reached an agreement with the unions and the employers on this matter ”, Escrivá assured this Monday. Meanwhile, the Spanish courts have already begun to recognize the supplement to parents who sue, since the Social Security does not yet recognize the supplement despite the CJEU ruling.
Modify the thresholds to access the minimum vital income
The minister has also advanced that it is studying modifying the thresholds to have access to the minimum vital income (IMV) after admitting that the recognition of this benefit “does not go at the desired pace”. “But not in terms of what we are processing, rather we are rejecting more than we thought,” he clarified. This last resort aid, approved at the end of last May to supplement the income of vulnerable families, has reached some 200,000 households compared to the 850,000 expected.
Escrivá has explained that an important part of the rejections are motivated by the fact that the applicants have an income or a net worth, excluding housing, higher than what was thought. And he added that there are also problems to identify the nuclei of cohabitants. For this reason, he has advanced that social services and NGOs will also help in the task of identifying them.
The minister has also advanced that he hopes to bring to Congress “in a few weeks” the formula to revalue pensions based on the CPI – a matter that is being discussed with social agents “with discretion” – and measures related to the hardening of early retirement now. encourage the voluntary delay of retirement age. Another of the pending issues, and on which Social Security is working, is the modification of the regime of the self-employed, so that they contribute based on their real income, as recommended by the Toledo Pact.
Asked about the controversy regarding the period for calculating pensions, which has caused tension among Government partners, Escrivá assured that work is being done on it and that precise calculations must be made, and “that it is not reasonable to disclose private conversations” . Regarding the repeal of the labor reform, he added that the pre-existing framework did not work well either, since the structural unemployment rate has always been very high.