Spanish government approves €400-per-child-per-year maternity supplement to reduce pension gap

It will increase the average pension by 6% and will benefit an additional 30,000 women

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The Minister of Social Security, Inclusion and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, in a recent image.

The Council of Ministers has approved this Tuesday the new maternity supplement when calculating pensions with the aim of putting an end to the gender gap. Until now only mothers who had had at least two children were entitled to a percentage increase in their pension. The new supplement, which will be a fixed monthly amount, will be received from the first child onwards. The Minister of Migration and Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, explained that the supplement will be almost 400 euros per year per child. The ministry estimates that it will benefit 30,000 women and will increase the average pension by 6%.

Strictly speaking, it is a maternity and paternity supplement. Both mothers and fathers will be able to benefit from it, but only one of the two parents will be able to collect it. In order to be able to add the supplement to their pension, men will have to prove that paternity has affected them more than the mother in terms of work and, therefore, that they have a lower pension. In practice, according to calculations by the Ministry of Social Security, 98% of the people who will be able to receive the supplement when they retire are women.

The modification of the maternity supplement responds to the need to change the rule because of a ruling by the EU Court of Justice, which found that the maternity supplement provided until now in accordance with the general law of Social Security - reserved only for mothers - was discriminatory against men. The change in the law opens the supplement to fathers but the Spanish government says it will benefit mainly mothers and will serve to reduce the pension gap from the current 32.4% to 5%.