HAVANA, Cuba.- Undoubtedly, one of the dissatisfactions that most come to the fore in the current conditions of Cuban society are the insufficient pensions earned by workers eligible for retirement. All the media that receive letters from their readers accumulate an appreciable amount of complaints and observations about such a delicate matter.
In this sense, a journalistic work that appeared in the weekly workersin which authorities from the National Social Security Institute respond to readers’ concerns, while reaffirming government guidelines on social security.
It is important to highlight the way in which the State has been getting rid of an important part of the cost of social security -at least with regard to pensions-, in such a way that the financing of this protection falls on the workers.
Before people began to talk about updating the economic model, almost all the contribution to social security was paid by companies. In other words, the workers did not receive salary discounts for that concept. Only workers who worked in foreign firms were applied a discount percentage for that purpose. The budget also received contributions for the social security of self-employed workers.
But, as a result of the salary increase that workers in the budgeted sector received in 2019, it was established that they would begin to contribute to social security expenses. Thus, for those who received monthly income of up to 500 pesos, a discount of 2.5% of their basic salary was applied: and if they earned more than 500 pesos, the contribution was 5%.
Later, with the advent of the Ordering Task, the contribution of workers to social security became general in the country. All workers, both in the corporate and budget sectors, must contribute 5% of their basic salary.
And despite all that contribution of workers to social security, the ruling party considers that it is still insufficient, and that the State must assume the difference until reaching the total expense that this concept represents today.
The foregoing comes in handy to reaffirm, through the mouth of the Social Security authorities, the official point of view that exonerates the “poor little” State from further pressure: “Wages and pensions cannot be increased if the production of goods and services to meet the growing needs of the population and avoid inflation, which affects the country’s economy so much”.
And as we all know that there will be no increases in production and services, there will also be no increases in pensions. This falls like a bucket of cold water on Cuban pensioners, who still had hopes that their pensions would serve to face the exorbitant cost of living that is observed on the island.
A simple example is enough to illustrate the above. With the prices of the black bag, to which everyone must go due to the insufficient supply of the state market, a package of chicken at 500 pesos, a bottle of oil also at 500 pesos, a floor blanket -if it is found- at 250 pesos, and a package of detergent also at that last price, end up with a stroke of the pen with the average monthly pension received by Cuban retirees, which amounts to about 1,578 pesos.
If anything, and badly, a retiree’s pension will be enough to eat in one of those establishments called the Family Care System, in which our retirees have a worse time than the hungry lions and crocodiles in national zoos.
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