Since the new pension reform was announced a few weeks ago, the Government has maintained that it had the endorsement of the European Commission, but this is not the case. The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, clarified this Tuesday in an interview on Cadena Ser that it is a fact that has not yet occurred, although for a formal matter. He said he is “100% convinced” that Brussels will give the go-ahead, but they still don’t have it.
The minister explained that they have worked together with Brussels to see that both parties had understood the reform “in the same way.” “We have worked very closely with the Commission,” said Escrivá, but formally until Spain requests the fourth payment of the Recovery and Resilience Plan funds, the evaluation protocol by Brussels will not be activated. “It has not yet been able to be approved because it first had to go through the Spanish Parliament and then we have to request the fourth payment,” said the minister, something that is expected to occur this summer.
At this time, the Commission will examine the reform “exhaustively” and “will approve it” because, according to Escrivá, “it knows all the details of the proposal,” since they have worked “closely for almost two months.” The pension reform was one of the milestones to be met to obtain the fourth payment of the Recovery Plan, and given the relevance of the pension system, the Ministry of Social Security agreed with Brussels that they would work together on the reform before this formal request for the fourth disbursement. .
Regarding the criticism of the Fiscal Authority (Airef) to the reform, which indicated that it will not make the system sustainable due to the large increase in spending due to the fact that all pensions are linked to the CPI, the minister explained that there are “different scenarios” and the Airef establishes a “very prudent and conservative one that does not incorporate all the job creation of the last year.” Even so, he indicated that the organization’s next scenario “coincides” with his analysis and “confirms the complete sustainability of the pension system.”
Furthermore, Escrivá reiterated that in no case is there any question of increasing the retirement age beyond the 67 years established as of 2027. “It is more than enough to make the system efficient,” he stressed. In this sense, he criticized that “in other parties they are toying with the idea of raising the age when they refer to Macron’s reform in France.”