Escrivá proposes to extend the period to calculate pensions but without reaching 35 years

The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá. / JOSE RAMON LADRA

The new formula, which will not affect those who are close to retirement, will allow the worst years to be eliminated and "will not mean a cut"

Lucia Palacios

The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, goes ahead with his idea of ​​extending the period of time to calculate the pension of future retirees despite the strong rejection that this proposal - which, on the other hand, has been committed to with Brussels - generates in much of the parliamentary arch and in the unions. In fact, both United We Can and UGTy CCOO showed this Monday their “frontal opposition” to a new increase, coinciding with the formal start of the negotiation of the second phase of the pension reform, which will also imply an increase in the bases quote maximums.

"Given that the last years are not the best, it may make sense to extend the calculation period, but at the same time choose the best ones, and in turn rule out the gaps," Escrivá admitted in an interview on TVE hours before the Government maintained a first "contact" meeting with unions and employers. However, the minister intends to do it without harming anyone, without "involving a cut", which is why he has completely ruled out his initial approach, which was none other than to increase the last 25 years that are currently taken into account for the computation of pensions at 35 years, a measure that was leaked at the beginning of the negotiation of the pension reform and that generated a total rejection both at a political and social level. "In no case will it be about extending the calculation period to 35 years, but rather small adjustments to improve equity," he explained in another previous interview on RNE.

Sources of the negotiation stressed to that newspaper that it is not about extending the years of contribution, those current 25, but the calculation period, at the same time that other elements are included in the final formula such as excluding a certain number of years -even to be defined– and improve the coverage system for contribution gaps (periods in which contributions are not made due to not being employed). In other words, one option that will be studied is to extend the calculation period for a few years – for example, to 27, 30 or 32; in no case will it reach 35–, but if the worst are allowed to be excluded, it could be maintained that they were a total of 25 years.

Negotiation sources explain that there is no collection effort and that even the new calculation will be “more appetizing” than the current one

From Social Security they rule out seeking a collection effort, focused on the sustainability of the system, but to offer a "new fairer formula" for new careers. In this sense, the minister pointed out that the objective of this measure, which is committed to with Brussels in the recovery plan, is to help improve the fairness of the system when calculating the pension, since the trajectories of the workers are no longer the traditional. In fact, he specified that for one out of every three employed persons, the best years of contribution are no longer the last ones, as was the case previously.

For this reason, Escrivá advocated "turning this around" and analyzing with the social agents whether it is possible to act on the period for calculating the pension and at the same time "destroy the worst years of contributions and give better treatment to the gaps of quotation”.

transitional regime

“We have to discuss with the social agents what is the best combination of these three elements so that the system is more equitable and fairer and fulfills its function of protecting in some way those who have unexpected or unwanted situations and that does not affect them negatively. from the point of view of the future pension," said the former president of Airef.

In any case, the final design, whatever it may be, will be "more appetizing" for future retirees and will not affect those workers who are close to retirement, since - as is usual in these reforms - there will be a transitory regime for this. not change the expectations of future pensioners and it could even be that at one stage they could choose between the current and the future, according to negotiation sources.

Raise the top bases

What the minister did openly acknowledge is his goal of progressively raising the maximum contribution base and raising the maximum pension at the same time, which in this case will contribute to the sustainability of the system. «What has to be done is to progressively raise that maximum pension and, at the same time, in an analogous way, increase the contribution in the maximum base. If we do this gradually and smoothly, as we have planned, this has the potential, from the point of view of the sustainability of the pension system, that it will increase collection in terms of social contributions », he explained.

In this sense, Escrivá stressed that the maximum pension in Spain is "relatively low" compared to that of other countries and indicated that if it is raised "gently" while increasing the maximum base, the income of the system will increase. in the 30s and 40s, which is where the system will suffer "a little more stress" due to demographics.

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