Elma Saiz (Pamplona, 1975), until now spokesperson of the PSN-PSOE in the City Council of Pamplona, manages the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration Policies, replacing José Luis Escrivá, with newly implemented pension reform continues and there are four major challenges on the horizon: transfer of Social Security management to the Basque Country; guaranteeing the continuity of the pension system, which will continue to be revalued with inflation and, above all, in the case of minimums; deal with the development of partial retirement and relief contracts; and extend maternity leave up to 20 weeks, as agreed by PSOE and Sumar in their coalition agreement.
Transfer of Social Security to the Basque Country
The PNV sealed a legislative agreement with the PSOE establishing the commitment to transfer the economic regime of Social Security to the Basque Country within a “non-extendable period” of two years, as already agreed in the previous legislature. The challenge for Saiz is to manage this transition while maintaining a Social Security fund and the principle of unity between the autonomous communities.
After the two-phase pension reform carried out by Escrivá, who is now in charge of the digital transformation, Saiz must tie up the loose ends, such as the new regulation of partial retirement and the replacement contract, which currently affects only the manufacturing sector and whose validity ends on December 31. In this matter, the government and social agents should create a negotiation table to determine the consequences and expand to many sectors of the economy. This figure allows a worker to retire in part and be replaced by someone younger whose contract is upheld.
Paternity and maternity leave
The new minister should also implement the already announced extension of paternity and maternity leave from 16 to 20 weeks, although these four new weeks may coincide with part-time work. You will also need to change the recently taken parental leave to pay at least four weeks per child starting in August 2024.
Increase in pension
Along with this, it is necessary to follow the path of increases established by the reform for the minimum and non-contributory pensions until they combine to 60% of the average income of a household with two adults in 2027. And, on the other hand, it will guarantee compliance with the CPI revaluation of pension contributions. In addition, in 2025 the maximum pension cap will begin to apply, which consists of revaluing the maximum pension by increasing it with the CPI and an additional increase of 0.115 cumulative percent every year until 2050, which means an estimated increase of 3% of that time. And in 2026, the pension calculation period will begin to extend to 29 years (eliminating the two worst years), with the possibility of choosing the current 25 years if it is more useful for the calculation.
First evaluation of the reform in 2025
Along with the revaluation of pensions established by law, the new minister will face the first evaluation of Social Security accounts after the reform in 2025 to see if it is necessary to activate the so-called closure clause. This correction mechanism, which will include further increases in contributions or changes in spending, is activated when the difference between pension spending and the income expected from the new measures exceeds 13.3%, a government-directed scenario. If this assumption occurs, the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF) will make a report, and the government will try to reach a consensus with social agents on correction mechanisms.
Another issue waiting to be completed is the implementation of employment plans, a commitment to strengthen the so-called second pillar of the system with the promotion of collective pension plans sponsored by companies, institutions, or sectors to encourage their storage.
For the self-employed, in addition to the development of a new contribution system based on their real income and the expansion of their social protection, the PSOE-Sumar program includes the possibility of applying for a reduced quota (flat rate) contribution if it continues. after reducing income.
Minimum Vital Income
Regarding the Minimum Living Income (IMV), the challenge is to continue to make the necessary changes to expand its coverage in the face of difficulties in reaching all potential beneficiaries.
As the person responsible for migration policy, the new minister of the area must face in the short term the migration crisis that the Canary Islands are going through and the reception of immigrants transferred from the archipelago to the peninsula in different facilities, which generated a lot of criticism of the administrations in the hands of the PP. In this new legislature, Migrations must also complete the construction of 14 new refugee centers or the adaptation of existing facilities to expand its own reception areas to 5,700 and have a capacity for 6,100 migrant to state resources