MALTA - Outlays on pensions have been blamed for the 5.7% increase in social security spending, according to a report by the Maltese National Statistics Office.
The report said total expenditure on social security benefits during 2006 increased by Lm12.6m - equivalent to 5.7% compared to 2005 - and amounted to Lm233.5m (€543.2m).
The report showed retirement pensions, which are the main component of contributory benefits, increased by Lm8.6m, because of an additional outlay of Lm7.3m in two-thirds pensions.
The two-thirds pension is a pension related to earnings, payable to persons who have retired after January 1979. This scheme provides for a pension equivalent to two-thirds of the insured person’s pensionable income. The increase was said to be brought about by a net increase in the number of beneficiaries.
The report also showed widows' pensions were up Lm1.9m, mainly on account of the survivors' pension which made up Lm1.1m of this increase, and in 2006 non-contributory benefits, a scheme set up to act as a safety net for those below the poverty line, increased by Lm1.5m (2.6%). Within this category, old-age pensions added Lm0.5m.
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