Spain sets a record in 2022 by closing with 2.39 affiliates for each pensioner
The Social Security data shows good news, the relationship between affiliates and pensioners is at its highest in the last decade, with 2.39 contributors for each pensioner at the end of 2022. On the contrary, these same data ensure that the average age of the bulk of the workers and the aging of the population endangers this balance.
According to Social Security data, that of 2022 was the highest ratio since 2011, when there were 2.47 affiliates for each pensioner, although if only active affiliates are taken into account, the ratio would be 2.24 workers for each retiree, the highest since 2009.
However, this number of contributors and beneficiaries of a pension is not guaranteed in the medium and long term, since 33.4% of the active population is between 50 and 64 years oldaccording to the EPA of the third quarter, or what is the same, in the next 17 years around 7.5 million workers will retire, who will become pensioners.
According to the projections of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF), the retirement of this generation will increase the number of pensioners to about 16 million people in 2050.
Meanwhile, AIReF forecasts in relation to the working-age population show a situation similar to the current one (30 million), a scenario that worsens if projections from the National Statistics Institute (INE) or Eurostat are taken into account, that they estimate about 28 million of eventual workers in 2050. Thus, in 2050 there would be less than two contributing workers for each pensioner (1.87 with calculations according to AIReF and 1.75 according to INE and Eurostat).
The Bank of Spain estimates that by 2050 there will be 2 people of working age (not necessarily workers) for each pensioner, compared to the current 3, a situation in which the increasingly high life expectancy and lower birth rates will be decisive.
Since 2017, the relationship between births and deaths is negativeand in 2021 (the latest data published by the INE) the difference between births of mothers residing in Spain and deaths of residents in the country was 113,023 fewer people.
The number of pensioners will be increasing, they will collect their pension for a longer time and, predictably, there will not be a mass of workers sufficient to maintain the ratio between contributors and pensioners at the current figures.
In this sense, a report by S&P Global this week points out that the reform of pension systems in countries like Spain has “slowed down”, which implies a greater risk that increased spending due to the aging of the population “becomes unsustainable”.
Almería, at the head and Orense, at the tail
Despite the fact that the ratio between contributors and pensioners at the national level has reached the highest level since the last decade, the different territories show differences that show which are the oldest or the most dynamic in terms of employment.
This way, Almería (3.24 affiliates for each pensioner), Madrid (3.15) and Ceuta (3), register the highest ratios between contributors and beneficiaries of a pension, while Ourense (1.1)Lugo (1.27) and León (1.31) are the provinces with the worst relationship.