When will I be able to retire?
In recent years, due essentially to the ongoing financial crisis, there has been a genuine avalanche of reforms to labor and employment legislation. One of the areas most affected by this frenetic legislative activity is the regulation of pensions under the social security system and, in particular, retirement.
Law 27/2011, of August 1, 2011, on Updating, Adapting and Modernizing the Social Security System constituted a turning point and appeared to achieve the ultimate aim pursued of reinforcing the sustainability of the Spanish pensions system. The Law, in addition to establishing new regulations for early and partial retirement, came to public attention because it raised the ordinary retirement age to 67 years (up from the previous 65 years), although it established that the change would be gradually phased in by 2027. However, despite being published in mid-2011, the Law did not enter into force until January 1, 2013, that is, a year and a half later.
On December 31, 2012, on the eve of entry into force of Law 27/2011, a new regulation was published in the Official State Gazette (Royal Decree Ley 29/2012, of December 28, 2012) whereby the application of the provisions on early retirement and partial retirement contained in Law 27/2011 were suspended for a period of three months.
At the end of the three months, a new Royal Decree-Law (Royal Decree-Law 5/2013, of March 15, 2013) was published, which amended numerous articles of Law 27/2011 regarding retirement, some of which had never even entered into force due to the aforementioned suspension.
Following the reform process, it was hoped that the last Royal Decree-Law approved would constitute, at least for the moment, the final piece of the jigsaw, allowing for a certain degree of legal stability in this area. However, it included a provision that, on further analysis, suggests that the hoped-for stability might be a pipe dream: the creation of a Committee of Experts for the Study of the Sustainability Factor of the Social Security System, instead of delaying its creation until 2017, as established in Law 27/2011.
The Committee of Experts was not only created swiftly but it has taken just 3 months to produce its Report, published on June 7, 2013, the contents of which lead us to think that it is highly likely that new modifications will have to be made to the Spanish pension system, leaving a question asked by many citizens since the start of the crisis and subsequent labor reforms hanging in the air: when will I be able to retire?
Garrigues Labor and Employment Law Department