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Basque Government presents EPSVs as a model of pension governance to the European Pension Association

2023 November 24

At the annual conference of the European Association of Public Sector Pension Institutions, held today in Donostia, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Budgets, Hernando Lacalle, highlighted the value of the model of the Voluntary Social Welfare Institutions (Entidades de Previsión Social Voluntaria - EPSVs) as a model of leadership in the Basque Country in terms of the future vision of this welfare work, recalling that 40 years ago the Basque Parliament approved a pioneering standard in the whole of Spain and linked to the historical tradition of the Basque Country, the “auzolan”.

At the opening of the conference, Lacalle affirmed that EPSVs play a fundamental role in dealing with unfavourable personal economic situations, such as unemployment, permanent disability, dependency or serious illness, and are the second pillar of complementary social welfare.

A vision of the future that is bearing fruit and that has recently been recognised by the Observatory of European Complementary Social Welfare Systems, a research structure created by the University of Barcelona.

In his presentation, Lacalle provided figures that put the current size of EPSVs into context. In 2022, EPSV assets stood at 26.89 billion euros. In macroeconomic terms, these assets represent 31% of our gross domestic product. In terms of membership, a total of 847,887 people participated on 31 December 2022, representing 45% of the population over the age of 16. In terms of the volume of coverage provided, the amount of benefits paid last year was 667 million euros, an increase of 6.3% over the previous year. 74% of the benefits paid corresponded to the retirement contingency and 18% were paid to beneficiaries following the death of a member of the Pension Fund.

Lacalle also stressed that the Basque Government is close to approving the new draft decree that will develop the preferential EPSVs with the aim of broadening the scope of investments, including those linked to digital, environmental and social transitions. A decree that, as he pointed out, “will reduce administrative costs in order to improve the pensions of members and promote preferential systems where pensions must be collected in the form of income”.

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Politicians attending the event