About 20,000 public employees framed in the special retirement regime for civil servants (that of the passive classes) they made the decision to leave their active life behind and retire in the final stretch of 2020 in an unprecedented exit movement since the great financial crisis of a decade ago and that it came in an environment of growing buzz about the possibility of cuts in public employee pensions. The fuse of the uncertainty was lit by the transfer of competences in the matter of passive classes from the General Directorate of Personnel Costs of the Ministry of Finance to the brand new Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security of José Luis Escrivá and neither the successive ones, although punctual Public pronouncements by the minister regarding his intention not to touch the regime, nor the explicit declaration of the Toledo Pact in relation to maintaining the conditions of this special retirement regime have succeeded in extinguishing it.
The CSIF union has been warning over recent months about the concern that the matter was generating in the collective about a million civil servants who continue to be included in this special regime. The figures seem to prove the union right. Between the months of October and December, immediately after the effective assumption of the management competencies of the Passive Classes Scheme by Social Security that took place on October 6, the system registered 11,103 new employees due to retirement State civilians, which represents an increase of more than 30% compared to the 8,345 registered in 2019 or 8,758 in 2018. In 2017 or 2016 the number of retirements in the last part of the year, where decisions to place end of working life, it was below 8,000 …
If the last semester of the year is taken, the number of civil servants of the passive classes regime who have decided to leave their professional life behind rises to 18,114, a figure also unparalleled in the last ten years and extraordinarily striking if one takes into account that in the first half of the year the number of retirements barely exceeded 8,000. The pull of the second part of the year has resulted in the highest number of retirements in the registered scheme ever in a full year: 26.349.
A casuality? What the statistics of the Ministry of Finance say is that the last time there was such a relevant flow of outflows towards retirement within the regime of passive classes was at the end of 2011 and once in a context of persistent rumors that among the adjustments that were to be addressed in the following year would be the elimination of some of the most significant advantages of this special regime, specifically the possibility that it gives civil servants framed in it to retire from the age of 60 without suffering any penalty in your benefit.
The risk of losing that advantage has been so internalized in the group that since 2011 voluntary retirements – before the legal age of 65 – have become the main exit channel of public employees towards inactivity and they have been explaining two out of every three retirements that have occurred in the group. The phenomenon reached such magnitude that in the last negotiation session of the Toledo Pact, the Minister of Labor, Fátima Báñez, urged the Commission to explore the ways to solve this distortion and guarantee the convergence of the Passive Class Regime with the General Regime of the Social Security, which would not only take away the ‘voluntary retirement’ but would also force to apply to the civil servants of passive classes the adjustment mechanisms foreseen for the rest of retirements, as the sustainability factor. With the Sánchez Government in power, the negotiation of the Toledo Pact turned in other directions and the reform of the passive classes was ruled out.
Social Security points to the ‘Covid effect’
Sources from the Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security give a varnish of normality to what happened in the last half of 2020 and they attribute the phenomenon to the fact that “the additions of this type of pension are always greater in the last quarter of the year” since this phenomenon has probably been exacerbated this year by the confinement decreed between the months of March and May that kept them confined in their homes to tens of thousands of public employees and that lasted a few more weeks for the elderly due to their status as a risk group.
“Many public employees are used to making this decision at the end of the year and it is possible that this year the pandemic has made it difficult to carry out the procedures beforehand and has increased retirements in the last part of the year,” they say. The data provided by the Ministry of Finance confirm that in the first half of the year some 500 employees from the passive classes retired less than what has been the norm in the last two or three years … but it is that in the second half the Number of retirements has exceeded the normal by about 4,000.
Union sources consulted by La Información admit, however, that the climate of concern created among public employees by the publication of certain information that pointed to a more or less imminent reform of the regime within the framework of the changes that the Ministry of José Luis is promoting Escrivá and due to the specific episodes of changes in criteria adopted by Social Security have been able to influence this phenomenon. The Treasury will not publish data on voluntary retirements in 2020 until well into 2021.
Source: LA INFORMACIÓN – Lo último by www.lainformacion.com.
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