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This article addresses a number of recent, ongoing changes to the pension system in Spain, notably the revaluation of pensions based on the CPI, the introduction of the Intergenerational Equity Mechanism, and occupational and individual pension plans. We also discuss the key challenges that lie ahead.
Once the last reform decision did not restrict the increase in spending and did not eliminate the actuarial imbalance, the sustainability of the pension system will involve a constant increase in taxation and transfers from central government, increasing the burden on the younger generations.
Proposals to authorize new withdrawals from private pension funds do not seem to be a priority when the economy is recovering and exploiting today's youth the burden of doing something in the future for those left unprotected today.
It seems reasonable that in exceptional times, like the current one, the economic cost of the major increase in gas, oil and other commodity prices should be shared across the population as a whole — including pensioners. This would then help to reduce the risk of inflationary spirals and of future stagflation.
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.
One of the roles of Social Security is to provide insurance in the form of retirement pensions. Society is faced with the challenge of ensuring that Social Security provides this social policy through a sustainable and adequate pension system.
Unlike the 2011 and 2013 reforms, the 2021 measures increase the projected deficit of the pension system and pass it on to the State, increase contributions, making job creation more expensive, and reduce intergenerational equity, in exchange for a greater budgetary burden on the younger generations.
The pension system reforms carried out up to now, and the latest proposals we are learning of, take us further away, rather than closer to, what other European countries have gradually done—and continue to do—to ensure the sustainability of their public pension schemes.