He Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations This past Monday, held the second meeting with employers and unions to modify the regulations regarding pensions. One of the aspects that the minister seeks to regulate Elma Saiz is the early retirement and, in that sense, it proposes advancing the retirement of workers from those sectors that have a low and accidents high. This is one of the elements contemplated in the first draft sent to the social agents and that does not convince them, since they do not share all the variables contemplated to argue for this early retirement, nor do they trust the current official statistics to support said indices.
Currently, Spanish legislation already contemplates the possibility of certain groups retiring before ordinary age, who in 2024 will be 66 years and six months old, without this implying a cut in his pension. Groups such as local police officers, railway workers or firefighters serving public administrations and organizations can retire earlier, for example.
Now the Government is negotiating to modify the conditions that justify that one group and another cannot access this early retirement. The Social Security negotiators have proposed “taking into account, among other factors, the incidence, persistence and duration of the sick leave processes, as well as the permanent disabilities or deaths that may be caused,” according to sources from the department led by Saiz.
The problem, for the moment, is that the first proposal has not convinced the social agents. The negotiation is long-term and there will be ‘give and take’ for months of documents, but the first has ample room for improvement in the eyes of especially the unions. Already in the last meeting, the first contact of the legislature, the centers warned that the Executive’s approach could lead to gender bias indirect.
And in highly feminized unions, such as that of housekeepers, professional ailments are very under-detected and since the employees need the money, very few end up taking sick leave. And what they do is go to work medicated. According to union sources consulted, a case like this would be excluded from those objective indices that the Ministry of Social Security intends to build.
During the negotiations that took place during the last legislature, the Government and the social agents already anticipated elements along these lines of modifying the reducing coefficients. For example, they agreed to review the catalog of professions eligible for them every 10 years.
Changing the regulations regarding early retirement has direct effects on companies and those sectors considered ‘difficult’ pay higher Social Security contributions than those that do not. This is designed to contribute more money to public coffers, since employees work for fewer years. This is why expanding unions considered painful will imply an increase in labor costs for companies or the Administration itself.
Currently, the Ministry has around 70 files on its table from associations, companies or workers who have demanded that it recognize their profession as painful and thus enable early retirement. And Social Security must decide whether to resolve these files -positively or negatively- before or after agreeing on the new regulations with the social agents.
The negotiations continue and during the next few days the Executive will send a written proposal to employers and unions regarding partial retirement and relief contracts, two priorities of the social agents that remained pending to be addressed during the last legislature. There, Social Security can also include proposals in relation to its idea of maximizing the possibilities and incentives for a worker to decide to extend their working life beyond retirement age and make part of their pension and salary compatible.