Newspaper Cinco Días and Ibercaja together hosted last Tuesday, November 19, the 5th Annual Conference “Pension Plans in Spain: Happy longevity, a challenge for long-term savings”.
The event, held at the Old Casino in Madrid, brought together a range of experts to discuss the future of pensions, set to be a major challenge over coming decades.
Óscar Arce, Director of Economics, Statistics and Research at the Bank of Spain, told attendees that the Bank of Spain is urging the financial sector to promote saving for retirement and said that the sector has a "responsibility". Arce argued that "circumstances currently favor the financial sector developing responsible and competitive financial products that might be appropriately marketed at customers." Any such products, he added,would need to be offered to households under “competitive and attractive” conditions with the aim of transforming “savings in housing equity into more liquid assets that will allow people to cover daily living expenses”.
Also addressing the Conference were other leading figures involved in the sector, including María Francisca Gómez Jover, deputy general director of organization, research and complementary social provisionat the Ministry of Economy and Business. While she stressed that the increase in longevity is good news, it does requires us to adapt. Other participants included Rodrigo Galán, director of the financial group of Ibercaja Banco, Pilar González de Frutos, president of Unespa, and Ángel Martínez-Aldama, chairman of Inverco.
All experts agreed on the importance of savings when it comes to facing the uncertain future of pensions, which will have to become “more intense and more diversified, given that saving has traditionally been focussed on real estate and savings accounts,” said Pilar González de Frutos.
With regard to reform of the pension system, the CEO of Ibercaja Banco, Víctor Iglesias, agreed that said reform “is still pending, and has not been addressed with the depth it requires”.
The event closed with the conclusion that any future pension reform will require “concessions”from workers and retirees, in addition to a series of challenges that will lead to changes in the current system.
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