the unfair rules that make each retiree unique

The latest pension statistics compiled by the Social Securitythe advance data for August 2022, shows that the contributory benefit system already welcomes 9,948,815 pensioners, mostly retired, who represent more than 72%. The almost ten million beneficiaries of benefits are distributed each month -in 14 payments- 10.6857 million euros, an amount that will not stop growing in the coming years due to the landing of the ‘baby boom’ generationthe largest and on average the best paid, in the system.

Meanwhile, while waiting for the latest developments in the pension reform, the differences persist, the gaps and a situation in which it is difficult to find an equal benefit. A heterogeneity that arouses misgivings and prompts some to ask for measures that cut distances before similar situations. The most common reference is that this group receives on average, in August, 1,091 euros and in the case of retirees 1,256 euros, but there is a real abyss between the lowest contributory retirement pension -838.8 euros in – and the highest, more than 2,819 euros; between men and women; among the aself-employed and wage earners; between the new retirees and the old ones; and between widow’s pensions for men and women.

Thus, 933,400 pensioners receive more than one contributory benefit, two out of ten need at least 224.5 euros, in the form of a minimum supplement, to reach the lowest pension and 75,000 retirees exceed the maximum pension thanks to the bonuses. One of the keys that forces the differences even with very similar situations are the pension calculation rules, which are currently being negotiated and which lead to unfair situations by exclusively valuing the last years of listing. Regardless of whether they have contributed for 40 or 50 years, if the greatest effort has not been made in recent years, the pension will be less than that of someone who has focused on their 20 or 25 years of working life to increase their contributions.

If the first 20 years are the good ones and the last 20 years are the bad ones, the results are very different than if the opposite happens.

It is the usual resource used by some freelancers in a system that until long ago only took into account the last 15 years, which are now 25. During the first years, the option was the minimum contribution and then the maximum possible, or start to work as a salaried employee. Basically, if the first 20 years are the good ones and the last 20 years are the bad ones, the results are very different than if the opposite happens. Hence, the possibility of taking into account even more years than the current ones, but taking into account, for example, the 29 best, would suppose an important progress to reduce the gaps and would contribute to making benefits more homogeneous and fair. This is one of the main conclusions of the latest report from the Bank of Spain which analyzes the effect of increasing the pension calculation period. Thus, two workers may have contributed to Social Security for the same time and for the same amount, but at the time of retirement receive a very different benefit.

Another issue raised by the BBVA Pensions Institute a couple of them ago was the injustice that could be caused, for example, by a worker who has contributed for 14 years and 364 days not being able to access a contributory pension, but another, with 15 fair years contributing to the Social Security, can obtain at least 838.8 euros. As for the minimum, having a dependent spouse means 890 euros in 14 payments, being single or widowed, 170 euros less each month, and if two benefits come into the house, just 680. And the same happens if the retiree is under 65 years, who also suffers an extra penalty

Being a widow or widower with less than 60 years, it implies just 546 euros on average per month, an amount that rises to 721 just for being five years older. There are barely 144,000 widowers compared to 1.6 million widows. While the average pension of the former stands at 591 euros, that of the latter exceeds 851 euros, a considerable difference in a common situation. However, the gaps in contributions, due to childcare, and the lower salaries mean that female pensioners earn an average of 437 euros less each month, even with his ‘head start’ in widowhood.

Civil servants can retire with less than 65 years and even with 60 and collect the full pension. Retirement occurs on average at 62 years

As for the years quoted, the reward is practically nil. The association of retirees and pensioners Asjubi 40 He has been fighting for years to take into account having contributed for four decades, for example, so as not to suffer the heavy penalties of early retirement, in these cases after a long working life. The only acknowledgment that has been made, recently, is a supplement, distributed sparingly, to improve the retirement pensions of beneficiaries with at least 44 years and 6 months of contributions who have agreed to early retirement between 1 January 2002 and December 31, 2021.

The pensioners who at the end of 2021 had reduced coefficients applied to their benefits despite having contributed for more than four decades were around 770,000, with Catalonia in the lead -183,483-, followed by Madrid, 133,360. Offense and injustice are the words most repeated by these pensioners and the associations that represent them, which also point to another group of retirees: civil servants. This group can retire with less than 65 years and even with 60 and collect the full pension. Civil servants retire on average at 62 years of age, 2.8 years earlier than those of the General Regime -64.8-.

Source: LA INFORMACIÓN – Lo último by

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