The construction finalizes the first pension plan for a million workers
The countdown has been activated. The last construction the first large collective pension plan in Spain, after announcing in June an agreement to become the first economic sector to adhere to the regulation approved by the Government to develop these financial instruments, which are called to complement the public pension. The National Construction Confederation (CNC), employers of the sector, and the unions are closing the last details of the specification regulation, the text that will determine the operation of the employment plan. In addition, they are very advanced the process to choose the entity that will manage the deposited savings by a notable part of the 1.35 million workers that make up this activity, which contributes around 10% of GDP.
“We are not far” from achieving this, acknowledges Mariano Sanz, general secretary of the CNC, ‘La Información’, who details that they are currently working on the last fringes of the regulation to have it completely closed by early February. The goal is that by the middle of next month they have also selected the manager in charge of running the fund. The screening process began with a series of very broad questionnaires to a good number of firms – “to all those that seemed to us to be possible candidates”, explains Sanz – from which ten semifinalists emerged. Of these, the five that are currently competing to take over the management of the first large-scale employment pension plan in the country were chosen.
The process is being carried out with all the precautions, without pause but without haste. “We would like to be more advanced”, points out the general secretary of the CNC, who acknowledges that the fact of being the sector that will open the way for the rest and not having references forces them to be extremely delicate in preparing the plan to try to not make mistakes. “What we do we want to do well,” he says. Throughout the process they are receiving advice from external experts, from professors and investigating similar models on which to rely.
How the pension plan will be financed
These two works walk in parallel with the negotiation of the VII General Construction Agreementwhich affects the more than 130,000 companies in the sector and will be in force until 2027. The CNC and the CCOO del Hábitat and UGT-FICA unions agreed in the summer to a 4% wage increase for construction workers by 2022, from 3% for 2023 and 3% for 2024. A part of this increase will go to contributions to the new pension plan.
Thus, and although the agreement will be in force for three years, salary increases are set only until the next financial year (included), establishing a salary guarantee clause subject to the economic situation in Spain in this period. According to preliminary calculations, the construction pension fund could accumulate a capital of between 2,500 and 3,500 million euros in the next decade. In addition, an employee who started contributing at the age of 25 could accumulate a savings bag of around 35,000 euros at the time of retirement.
Construction, which currently employs one million workers and around 300,000 self-employed workers, had established by agreement forced retirement once the worker reached the legal retirement age. According to experts consulted, the fact that from now on he will be able to supplement his public pension with the employment pension plan will allow those workers who carry out heavier tasks to choose whether they want to extend their working life or retire, given that the reform approved by José Luis Escrivá abolished the forced retirement.
The new agreement incorporates other important innovations for the sector, such as the regulation of the indefinite contract assigned to work, the maximum period of duration of the temporary contract due to circumstances of the production of one year – receiving compensation of 7% upon termination of the contract- ; as well as the duration of the period of inactivity and the amount to be received in the event of contracts, subcontracts or for reasons of administrative concessions in the case of the discontinuous permanent contract. Employers and workers’ representatives also agreed to create a sectoral employment exchange, regulate forced retirement and develop training contracts with regard to their remuneration and duration.