ANSES delivers pensions only to half of those eligible to retire - IDESA

Report Nº: 91516/06/2021

ANSES delivers pensions only to half of those eligible to retire

A program was announced to recognize years of service for women with children. The idea should be accompanied by the retirement age equalization and the PUAM (Universal Pension for the Elderly) reformulation. But most urgent is to modernize ANSES to end pensions delays due to bureaucratic obstacles.

ANSES announced the launching of the “Integral Program for the Recognition of Periods of Service for Care Tasks”. This is the recognition of one year of service for retirement for each child that women between 59 and 64 years old have had. The objective is to compensate them for the effort made by retiring from the labor market due to maternity and childcare. It is estimated that there are 155 thousand women who will be able to access their retirement with this program.

The idea of recognizing women’s years of service based on the number of children is not new. In developed countries, it is a fairly common rule. For this reason, it is not understood why it is limited to women between 59 and 64 years of age when it should be a general and permanent rule and be accompanied by the equalization of the retirement age. In other words, women and men should retire at 65 years of age, and women are granted one year of service for each child. 

The other question is whether the management of the ANSES is consistent with the protective purpose of this program. Official data from the Secretariat of Social Security shed light on this issue. According to this source, it is observed that:  

  • Between 2017 and 2019 ANSES granted approximately 21 thousand new retirements per month.
  • Between 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 it has been granting barely 11 thousand retirements per month.
  • This implies that there would be about 155 thousand people who meet the requirements but do not retire due to the administrative obstacles of ANSES.

These data show that, while the ANSES promotes a program to attend to the situation of 155 thousand women who do not have the retirement requirements, it leaves another 155 thousand people who meet the requirements helpless due to bureaucratic delays. This is a flagrant contradiction. Announcements are made expanding rights, but, in practice, rights are curtailed due to administrative negligence. If the Program becomes a reality, the 155 thousand women will have the right to retire, but they will be added to the other 155 thousand people who are on the ANSES waiting list. 

The paralysis of ANSES, as a large part of the public administration, is not justified by the pandemic. The process of granting a retirement is purely administrative and can be done by teleworking. Nor it requires the citizen to go to the ANSES offices in person. It is not a pandemic fault but of deep technological obsolescence and of decades of using public agencies to appoint friends and political partisans. Rights are proclaimed but in practice they are curtailed by the decadence of the State’s management. 

The proposal is not only at odds with the ANSES administrative inefficiencies. It also has a flawed design since it maintains the minimum of 30 years of contributions. If a woman, even counting the years of service per child, does not reach 30 years of contribution, she will not be able to access retirement and will receive the Universal Pension for the Elderly (PUAM). This is unfair because the amount of the PUAM is the same for those who have made no contributions as for those who have made 29 years of contributions. A good reform should correct this distortion by recognizing those who contributed less than 30 years with a proportionated pension amount.  

Pension changes with flawed designs magnify the social costs generated by a poorly organized and even worse managed system. A comprehensive plan for a pension system reorganization is needed. The goal is to establish fairer and more sustainable rules. Especially given the challenges posed by the aging population. In addition, the ANSES modernization must be added. Otherwise, the logic of declaring rights that the bureaucracy mercilessly cut will prevail.


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