Carlos Bravo | To be able to maintain current Spanish pensions model in 2050, when the large majority of the baby-boom generation will reach retirement age, we will need to raise pension spending to around 15% of GDP. This is a significant challenge, but one which is perfectly doable. The challenges of the system are two-fold: guarantee its financial sustainability and ensure there are sufficient funds available.
There is a lot of talk at the moment about Spanish pensions. But, it would appear, not enough. At least it is by no means clear that public opinion and voters are very aware of what is about to land on top of them: that in 2017 the pension piggy bank will be empty. And what will happen then?
If demographics fail, the economy doesn’t grow and employment stagnates, then there is no difference at all between the pay-as-you go system (Spain’s current state pension system) and the capitalisation scheme (put forward as a miraculous solution, now used in private pension schemes), says expert Niko Garnier.
The Social Security’s pensions fund is emptying. And this is causing huge alarm amongst current and future pensioners who believe, incorrectly, that “there’s going to be no money left and one day they’ll tell us that there is no monthly payment.”
Wages decline has put Spain back in the beginning of the century. But the warning sign for the country are citizens’ pensions: crucial for the most defenseless. Both President Mariano Rajoy and the Spanish society have an enormous stake in social welfare.