“It has not existed nor will it exist,” said the Minister of Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, on the extension of the period for calculating pensions from 25 to 35 years. The minister has starred this Wednesday in a sour interview on Onda Cero where he has denied that he has considered increasing the years of contributions to calculate the retirement benefit. However, the head of the pension system sent up to two different drafts to the Government Delegate Commission for Economic Affairs (CDGAE), where the ministers responsible for economic areas meet, which included said measure.
The second document sent last December to the economic ministers under the title Sustainability of the public pension system within the framework of the Toledo PactThe 32-page book included eight major measures to reform pensions. One of the most important for containing Social Security spending appears under the heading “Extension of the calculation period for calculating the retirement pension.” In this file, to which EL PAÍS has had access (shown in the image below), it is specified that the measure will entail an average reduction of the pension of 6.3% and that it is expected to be implemented progressively from 2023. In a previous version of this draft, also sent to La Moncloa, there was talk of an average pension reduction of 5.5%
The description of the file included in the document sent to the economic ministers, which Escrivá said this Wednesday that “does not exist”, reads as follows: “As the third of the measures that make up the block that aims to deepen the reform of 2011 , it is proposed to extend the calculation period for the calculation of the regulatory base of the retirement pension, going from the last 25 years of reference in 2022 to a maximum of 35 years progressively, considering the possibility of choosing the years to be integrated in the regulatory base when this threshold is exceeded together with a review of the lagoon integration procedure ”.
This draft presented by the Department of Escrivá to the other ministers recognizes a 6.3% cut in the pension: “The average effect of calculating the pension over a maximum of 35 years instead of 25 will mean pensions between the minimum and the maximum, an average reduction of the initial pension of 6.3%, although its impact is not uniform and depends on the specific characteristics of each contribution career ”, according to the text.
Despite being one of the core elements of the reform presented by Escrivá to his colleagues in the Council of Ministers, the head of Social Security said yesterday: “The calculation period is not by far the central element of what we are discussing” .
The Ministry recalls in the section “Evidence, analysis and data that motivate the need for reform” of this file that “the extension of the calculation period for calculating the retirement pension is one of the parametric changes that have been included in all the major reforms that have been made in Spain since 1985: on that occasion the period is increased from two to eight years; in 1997, fifteen years; and the reform of 2011, progressively extends it to the last 25 years of contribution in 2022 (in 2020 it is still calculated with the last 23) ”.
The Ministry of Social Security explains in the file: “The measure aims to increase the contributivity of the system by making the retirement pension more reflective of the worker’s working life and reflecting the reality of a labor market in which interruptions and gaps they are less and less exceptional. Even though the effect on each worker is different, increasing the pension in some cases and decreasing it in others, in average terms the pension is reduced, although the effect is gradual over time and would be moderated by the possibility of choosing years ”.
Despite the fact that the minister denied the measure yesterday – “I don’t know where it comes from,” he even said in the interview – the document that La Moncloa sent this week to Brussels with the general lines of the Security reform Social recognizes that “it is proposed to extend the calculation period for the calculation of the regulatory base.” However, in this latest official text the explicit reference to 35 years of age disappears.
The minister was asked during the interview on Onda Cero on whether he is finally going to increase the years of computation to calculate pensions up to 35 years of age and visibly irritated he replied: “We have to do many calculations and many more studies at the microdata level and that’s where we are, that is the most difficult part to specify of everything that there is and this is what is in the Toledo Pact, what we have told and what we have sent to Brussels ”. And he has tried to justify the mess he’s gotten himself into: “In the middle of those intermediate calculations, someone has taken them and made a confrontational narrative” that has said “it’s not real.”