Almost five million workers do not contribute for their real income

The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá. / FILE, ARCHIVE

They are the self-employed, domestic workers and those who earn more than 50,000 euros a year, who represent a quarter of the affiliates

Lucia Palacios

In Spain, it is not only the self-employed who do not contribute based on their real income, although it seems that way since they are spoken of almost exclusively. And more so now in the final stretch of the negotiation of the new model. In reality, it can be said that practically one in four workers does not pay Social Security based on their work income: they are close to five million of the more than 20.2 million members who are currently registered in the system, since we must also add those with salaries above 50,000 euros and domestic workers.

The largest group is made up, in fact, of the self-employed: more than 3.3 million, who freely choose their contribution base. And a vast majority, 85%, opts for paying the minimum fee: 294 euros per month if they are individuals, 377 euros if they are companies. Until now, because from next year the new model negotiated by Minister José Luis Escrivá with the group should begin to be applied so that their contributions are made based on their net returns and, although the design should be closed this June , for the moment the agreement seems distant.

But there is another group made up of the workers who earn the most and who contribute to the maximum bases, which stands at 4,139.4 euros, a limit that Podemos wants to eliminate and that this past week the PSOE voted in favor in Congress by mistake. . These are those who have an income of more than 49,672 euros per year, which is the maximum remuneration for which Social Security must be paid in 2022; that is, currently, anyone who earns more than that amount does not contribute for it.


  • 1.5
    million people fall within the maximum base, capped at 4,139 euros per month

  • imminent reform.
    The Government intends to gradually raise the maximum base to around 25% in the coming years

From the Ministry of Social Security they do not give the data on how many affiliates fall within the maximum bases, but in 2018 they offered the AIReF the calculation that there would be around 1.5 million workers, a figure that coincides with the estimate that It can be extracted from the INE Salary Structure Survey that 1.4 million employed persons have salaries of more than 50,000 euros. CC OO, for its part, speaks of between 1.1 and 1.2 million who contribute for the maximum quota throughout the year, which could rise to 1.5 million if those who have contributed at least a month of the year.

Finally, the almost 380,000 domestic workers who are registered in the system do not contribute based on their real income either, but rather based on the rate base, a series of sections that, however, have been improved in recent years and are quite close to to what they earn, according to Carlos Bravo, confederal secretary of Social Protection and Public Policies of CC OO. Bravo denounces, however, that the problem in this sector is the high percentage of the underground economy that exists and must be combated. In fact, while only 378,000 domestic workers are registered, almost 550,000 are listed in the Active Population Survey (EPA), meaning that 165,000 work irregularly. That is why the Government has launched a campaign against fraud in this group that has already allowed the regularization of thousands and thousands of workers.

Imminent reforms

But the objective of the Executive is that imminently the contributions of these five million affiliates come closer and closer to their income. For this reason, this Monday the Ministry of Inclusion will hold a new meeting with the social agents to try to agree on the new contribution system for the self-employed that will come into force in 2023, although for the moment the last proposal of thirteen sections with quotas between 250 and 550 euros has the resounding rejection of the CEOE.

But Escrivá also intends to agree before the end of the year a "moderate increase in the maximum contribution bases" that would in turn lead to a rise in the maximum pension in the same proportion. His goal is to gradually increase it by 25% over the next 25 years to reach 60,000 euros per year.

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