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The pension system is a form of insurance whereby workers defer their income so as to maintain purchasing power and welfare throughout their life. Pay-as-you-go systems should therefore aim to revalue pensions in line with inflation, but with a design that ensures the system is sustainable over time.

The recommendations of the Pension Commission of the Spanish Congress (Pacto de Toledo) are a good starting point for addressing gradual changes in the system, but they are not enough to ensure its sustainability. If the appropriate measures are not taken, the recommendations have the potential to imbalance the system.

At the start of the COVID-19 crisis the Spanish public pensions system had already suffered from a chronic deficit. Since 2011 it has exhibited an imbalance, which amounted to around EUR 18 billion—1.4% of GDP—in 2019. There is little doubt…

The diagnosis of the system's current problems is well known. Since the start of the 2008 financial crisis, pension spending has increased by 4% on average annually, whilst earnings have stagnated—or even decreased—as a result of a 17% fall…