Mass pensioner protests across the country have been planned for this coming Saturday (March 17), despite president Mariano Rajoy saying he would increase retirees’ income once the budget was approved.
As yet, the State budget remains inconclusive, and Spanish pensioners, yet again, only received the minimum increase allowed by law in January.
Every January since 2012, State pensions have gone up by just 0.25%, the lowest amount permitted by legislation, meaning they have not kept up with inflation.
If the budget is finally approved, Rajoy has promised to increase ‘the lowest State retirement pensions’ and also widows’ and widowers’ pensions, although he has not said by how much.
In the last month, the number of State pensioners went up by 1.2% – and every month for the past two years, a minimum increase of 1% in people retiring has been seen.
Average pensions vary by postcode: €1,362 in Bilbao and €744 in Ourense
Major variations in State retirement pensions are seen nationwide – the average Spaniard aged over 65 in the province of Vizcaya (Biscay) in the Basque Country, the capital of which is Bilbao, takes home €1,361.74 a month, whilst those in the province of Ourense, in Galicia, earn just €744.23 a month.
The average retiree on a Spanish State pension earns €1,077.52 per month, and it is standard practice to receive a double pay packet in August and at Christmas.
Widows’ and Widowers’ pensions – which cannot be claimed at the same time as a retirement pension – are on average €652.17 per month, rising to €788.61 in the province of Vizcaya and down to €476.29 in that of Lugo, in Galicia.
The surviving spouse currently receives, in the form of a pension, 52% of the deceased spouse’s income, which Rajoy promised to increase to 60% within two years, but is now talking of upping to just 53% in one year.
A total of 2.3 million residents earn widows’ or widowers’ pensions in Spain – 16% more than in 2003 – and the average age of beneficiaries is 73-and-a-half.
Orphans’ pensions are typically €465.52 a month in Vizcaya, the highest-paid province, and €292.05 in the Spanish-owned city-province of Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast, with an average national orphans’ pension being €382.79.
Pensions for permanent disability are, on average, €940 a month in Spain; the highest are found in the Basque Country province of Guipúzcoa, the capital of which is San Sebastián, where a typical disabled person would earn €1,229.23 a month, whilst the lowest is in the province of Badajoz in the land-locked western region of Extremadura, averaging €776.71 per month.