SPAIN - A Spanish pension bill will go to parliament for approval next year, later than expected, and the government is "open" to modifying its proposal that includes raising the retirement age, Labor Minister Valeriano Gomez said.
Gomez, appointed last month in a Cabinet reshuffle, said parliament's pension committee will complete a report on possible changes in December, and a bill will go to the legislature next year after talks with other parties. The government had said it aimed to submit a bill by year-end.
"We will put on the table a series of measures that consolidate the pension system at least as much as a hypothetical increase in the pension age would," Gomez told Telecinco television in an interview in Madrid today.
Spain's government, trying to rein in its borrowing costs and reduce the third-largest budget deficit in the euro region, said in January it aimed to raise the retirement age to 67 from 65 and change the way pension benefits are calculated. Finance Minister Elena Salgado, amid widespread opposition and union protests, said Oct. 5 the government still thinks raising the retirement age is the "best option" for shoring up the system.
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