Why has the Government brought to Brussels “the possibility of extending the period for calculating the pension”? According to the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, “the content of that file corresponding to the reinforcement of the pension system includes the principles of government action.” However, in that government action, the ministers of United We can have already expressed their opposition, which complicates a subsequent parliamentary approval of that measure. Calviño also stated in Brussels after meeting with the economic commissioners of the Community Executive: “The message that the Government has wanted to send is the protection of the purchasing power of pensions now and, based on social dialogue, continue to strengthen our system and ensure long-term sustainability. ” However, in that social dialogue, you already know that the unions have spoken out against it as well.
The vice president, also, has affirmed that the idea of extending the years to calculate pensions emanates from “the guidelines set by the agreement of the Toledo Pact.” But the extension of the calculation period, which was present in the drafts handled by the Toledo Pact until very late in the negotiations, no longer appeared in the final text approved by the commission and the Plenary of Congress.
In previous texts, the Government is summoned to analyze the impact of the extension of the period from 15 to 25 years and added: “Said evaluation must also consider the possibility of making future extensions of the period of time that is taken into account for the calculation of the regulatory base, even reaching, where appropriate, the entire working life, as well as the possibility that the pensioner can choose those years of their contribution career that are most favorable “.
The sentence was shortened and eventually the approved text was left only with the second part: “Said evaluation must also contemplate other measures such as the power to choose the most favorable years in determining the regulatory base of the pension.”
One measure that the Toledo Pact does propose – and that is sometimes confused with the contribution period for the calculation – is the possibility of extending the time contributed to access 100% of the pension. In 2020 you must have contributed 36 years to reach 100%. With 15 years, you are entitled to 50% of the regulatory base. The commission’s recommendations raise the possibility of extending these years, but do not refer to the calculation period.
Extending the years of contributions for calculating the pension is a controversial measure. On the one hand, it is often said that it makes the system more contributory: if more years of a person’s working life are taken into account, the pension system returns a pension that is more adjusted to what they have contributed. On the other hand, it can also lead to cuts in the pension, since traditionally workers achieve better wages at the end of their career. Thus, if more years are included in the calculation, lower salaries are usually included and the pensions are then lower.
This is not necessarily always the case. In fact, the past economic crisis left important contribution ‘holes’ in many careers and extending the years of calculation could benefit people who became unemployed at an advanced age. Even more so if, as the Toledo Pact has recommended, it is allowed to eliminate certain years from the calculation.
Another relevant question is the possible The damage that these increases have on the gender gap in pensions, since women tend to have more interruptions in their work careers, mainly due to motherhood and care.
Express extension of the Government
Until the last moment, the Government did contemplate sending to Brussels a pension reform proposal that expressly included an increase from 25 to 35 in the number of years of contributions to calculate the benefit to be received upon reaching retirement. This is stated in the penultimate version of the records that the Executive has sent to the European Commission, to which elDiario.es has had access and which was distributed in the last weeks of 2020. The final version that has been sent to Europe no longer includes this precision, although it does maintain the intention to extend the years of calculation.
“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”, the description of the reform assured in its penultimate draft. The text continues: “Considering the possibility of choosing the years to be integrated into the regulatory base when this threshold is exceeded, together with a review of the procedure for integrating gaps.”
Vice President Calviño also explained after Thursday’s meetings with representatives of the European Commission, that the Government will continue working “in the coming weeks” to outline the details of the reforms included in the Spanish recovery plan, which the Community executive has claimed the governments.
“What we will do in the coming weeks is to continue working with the European Commission precisely to specify the missing elements related, for example, with that calendar of objectives and milestones that we have to unfold in the coming years and other issues on which we will continue. working, “he said in Brussels.
Calviño has met with the economic and competition vice presidents of the Community Executive, Valdis Dombrovskis and Margrethe Vestager, and with the Commissioners of Economy and Budgets, Paolo Gentiloni and Johannes Hahn, among others.
The meetings, according to Calviño, have taken place “in a tremendously positive and constructive environment” within the framework of “preparing the final phase of the recovery plan”, which includes reforms and investments to receive up to 140,000 million in European transfers and credits.
Vox key abstention
When asked if she has felt comfortable with Vox’s key abstention to carry out the royal decree for the management of European funds, before the contrary vote of allies such as ERC and the opposition on the right -PP and Ciudadanos-, Calviño has avoided answering the question and has answered: “It is difficult for me to understand that it has not had the unanimous support of all political groups given that it is such an important issue for the well-being of the Spanish, an important milestone to begin to effectively deploy the recovery plan. ”