Government and social agents begin to negotiate the increase in the maximum base

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The Government and the social agents resume this Monday the negotiation of the next block of the pension reform, which includes, among other issues, the increase in the maximum contribution bases of the system and the period of computation for the calculation of the retirement pension.

After closing a first block of reforms in July last year and once the change in the self-employed regime (RETA) was completed, the Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security sits down again with employers and unions in search of an agreement that allows compliance with the two pending and committed milestones with Brussels for this year in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

These are basically two reforms included in the so-called component 30 to guarantee the purchasing power of pensions and ensure the financial sustainability of the system: the “adaptation to the new professional careers of the computation period for calculating the retirement pension” and the “adequacy of the system’s maximum contribution base”.

The Government’s objective, according to consulted sources, is that everything be finalized before the end of the year and that the regulatory changes be processed in the form of a bill, which further complicates the deadlines.

From the Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security they insist on the need for the pension “to better reflect the working life of the worker and address the reality of a labor market with more interruptions and gaps.”

This could be translated, according to social dialogue sources, in some proposal that leads to the increase of the period the possibility of being able to discard some years.

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Along with these two great milestones, pending aspects of the first block of reforms are still on the table, recall sources from employers and unions who, as usual, sit down again with distant positions.

UNIONS OPPOSE RAISING THE PERIOD TO CALCULATE THE PENSION

From the unions they have shown a firm rejection of the extension of the computation period for the calculation of the retirement pension that, after the last agreed reform of 2011, reached 25 years in January 2022.

The general secretary of the UGT, Pepe Álvarez, was blunt this week regarding the increase in the computation period for calculating the pension: “We have ended up placing it at 25 years in 2021, we have to see what effect it has on the system”, he left Sure.

This point is also a source of conflict between the two government partners with Podemos’s strong opposition to extending this period, a measure that entails for most a cut in pensions and that, as they explained to Efe from UGT and CCOO, also Parliamentary support must be assured to carry it forward.

Regarding the other major issue of the reform, the gradual increase in the maximum base, employers and unions expect Inclusion to specify periods and rhythms of this increase that aims to provide Social Security with more income, as well as how it will be matched with a increase in the maximum pension.

For CCOO and UGT it is “fundamental” to act on the maximum bases, while the employers will sit at the table to negotiate that said increase goes hand in hand with another of the maximum pension, something that the unions would accept but not of equal intensity.

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From the union led by Unai Sordo, they explain that, before opening this second part of the reform, they will require the Government to complete two key aspects pending from the previous block: the contribution of interns and the treatment of sick leave due to temporary disability in fixed discontinuous.

And they point out several more issues that the union will raise, such as the increase in minimum pensions, the development of the Social Security Agency or a unified registry of de facto couples for access to the widow’s pension.

In addition, both unions will ask the Government to extend the relief contract to all sectors under the terms currently in force for the manufacturing industry, to encourage the hiring of people to replace those who access partial retirement.

“Its validity ends in 2022 and it is absolutely necessary to renew it and include all groups,” said Álvarez.

Another issue that the Ministry of Inclusion could put on the table is an eventual review of the Intergenerational Equity Mechanism (MEI), which it agreed to almost a year ago with the unions and which implies an increase in social contributions over the next ten years.

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