MADRID, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Spain will restrict early retirement to increase contributions to the social security system, according to a royal decree passed on Friday at a cabinet meeting.
The measures aim to save around 4.5 billion euros (5.9 billion U.S. dollars) a year when they are fully implemented in 2027, the Minister of Employment Fatima Banez said at a press conference after the cabinet meeting.
Banez argued that these savings will make the Spanish social security system more sustainable, pointing out that early and partial retirement cost Spain more than 9 billion euros a year.
The measures include the increase of the minimum amount of contributions a worker must make to get early retirement.
The European Union has suggested that Spain takes additional measures to make its social security system more sustainable.
Spain is suffering from a serious economic crisis that left almost 6 million people out of work in 2012, while cost-cutting programs carried out by firms are increasing the number of people taking early retirement. (1 euro = 1.30 U.S. dollars)